March 11, 2021
Maori head south for university
The University of Otago is expecting more than 2400 tauira Māori on campus this year.
It’s reporting an 8.4 percent increase in its Māori enrolments, compared with a 5.4 percent overall increase.
The number of new domestic enrolments more than offset the decline in international enrolments.
Māori communications advisor Matiu Workman says there is strong growth in Māori doing first year health sciences, and significant increases also in commerce and humanities subjects, as well as in masters and doctoral study programmes.
The university has developed initiatives like its Māori centre to support Māori students, who are coming from places like Auckland, Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne, Canterbury/West Coast, Dunedin and Wellington.
"A lot of these students are coming from whānau who don't have much experience in the tertiary education world so there is so there is nervousness about bringing there rangatira āpōpō down here so we have things like the Māori Centre that really do have that genuine manaaki that goes beyond looking after their children on campus, because it's not only for the tauira but for the whānau and iwi as well that we are looking after them," Mr Workman says.
He says having more than 2000 Māori students is making a noticeable impact on the feel of the campus.
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