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Improving Maori & Pacific Tertiary Participation

Improving Tertiary Participation By Maori And Pacific Students

A new funding package to foster greater tertiary institution responsiveness to the particular needs of Maori and Pacific students builds on the series of equity initiatives taken by the Government, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey addressed a Tertiary Equity conference in Auckland this morning and said the Government wants to ensure all New Zealanders are able to access lifelong learning in the knowledge society. Initiatives taken so far to lower the cost of tertiary education to students will cost $670m over four years. Mr Maharey said a new $18m package (over four years) is being introduced from the 2001 academic year to fund support services at public tertiary education institutions for Maori and Pacific students to ensure greater numbers begin and complete post-school qualifications.

"The Government has moved quickly to lower the cost of tertiary education to students because too many New Zealanders were being put off post-school study. We are also committed to increasing the number of students in study from groups who are currently under-represented.

"By any indicator Maori and Pacific peoples are under-represented in tertiary education. The Government is determined to close educational gaps.

"Many institutions have been investing in programmes and services to support Maori and Pacific peoples in recent years, and the increasing numbers of students graduating over the past decade is testimony to their efforts. The Government wants to ensure a uniform level of responsiveness across the tertiary sector.

"The new funding package will provide for:
 grants to institutions to be spent on support services for Maori and Pacific students;
 the dissemination of information on ‘best practice’ examples of support for Maori and Pacific students from across the tertiary sector; and
 new regulatory and reporting requirements, to be introduced in 2001 for the 2002 academic year, on Maori and Pacific education outcomes.

"Our tertiary education funding system has rarely recognised the additional costs associated with providing high quality education to disadvantaged groups and has never sought to reward those institutions who have consistently supported learners from these groups to succeed. This package is designed to do both," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

Ministry of Education contact: Jane von Dadelszen, Senior Manager, Tertiary Education Policy, (04) 471 6078 or (025) 546 589.

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