Engaging Māori and Pasifika people’s into tertiary education in Aotearoa, New Zealand has been a major focus for the Tertiary Education Commission for many years. In earlier generations higher level study was largely enjoyed by mainstream ethnicities for a wide range of reasons. A lot of research has gone into understanding the barriers affecting Māori and Pasifika students and the Government of New Zealand have instituted support and research programs, training for teachers and examples of good practice for tertiary education providers. The Tertiary Education Commission have recently restated their desire to have Tertiary Education Organisations (TEO’s) in Aotearoa New Zealand and are reaffirming that select amounts of funding will be tied to ensuring student success for Māori and Pasifika.

While many TEO’s have put into place programs that support students directly, both in and around experiences in the classroom, the rates of success for Māori and Pasifika are still lagging behind the success rates of other students. The reasons for this difference results from a wide range of factors.  Factors affecting students enrolled into study are captured in research undertaken by Doctor Logan Bannister (Click here to view).

The key measure that is most often used to measure success is a student passing their qualification. It is the easiest outcome to calculate because there is are clear start and finish dates. However students have different ambitions for studying and what they consider to be a successful outcome may be quite different to being awarded a qualification. Are there other outcomes that equate to success for people in tertiary learning? Are there other kinds of success factors that could be measured?

  • Can attending class be defined as a success?
  • Can success be defined as a student graduating?
  • Is a student gaining employment  a successful outcome?

Each of these scenarios can be thought of as a success depending on what point of view a person chooses to take. If you are the student – getting a job could be the best! If you are a teacher having a student attend class AND engage appropriately in the learning could be a success, for the institution having a student attend graduation ceremony to receive their parchment could be the overall best outcome. What constitutes “success” is relative to the person.

The key measure of success for Student Pulse is helping the student to achieve their goals. How do we help?

  • Students wanting to attend class – we have advocated for students regarding the bus services to get to and from study.
  • Students graduating – we have supported students who have struggled in academic matters by giving guidance and support to understand the academic policies of Toi Ohomai.
  • Students getting employment – we have established strong working relationships with other volunteer organisations who provide employment experience opportunities to help them get work ready.

Our philosophy is “support – student by student” which means students supporting students. Members of Student Pulse are (mostly) persons enrolled into study at Toi Ohomai who understand and appreciate the pressures of balancing academic study with real life. If you are wanting support in any of the areas we have listed above please contact us and we will do everything we can to connect you with the right support for your situation.

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