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Building Māori success

Success for Māori is success for everyone and improving outcomes for Māori is an ongoing priority for universities. The universities, through their research, teaching and learning initiatives and student support and pastoral activities, are helping to meet government priorities for Māori achievement as expressed through the five key objectives in the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities and Tertiary Education Strategy.

We’ve seen steady increases in Māori participation and achievement in our universities, increasingly at higher levels of qualifications, underpinned by kaupapa Māori and evidence-based initiatives that aim to build capability, expand the knowledge base of our society and achieve positive outcomes.

The role of Te Kāhui Amokura (University New Zealand – Te Pokai Tara’s Committee on Māori) is to advance and promote the collective interests of Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities to improve outcomes for Māori university students (tauira), Māori university staff and Māori scholarship. Te Kāhui Amokura's current strategic plan focuses on three priorities: improving outcomes for learners; improving outcomes for current and future Māori staff; and increasing universities’ role in the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

Key facts

  • 19,630 Māori students (13% of all domestic students). This is an increase of 25% from 2012. 1
  • Māori students represent 13% of all domestic university students. 1
  • 26% of Māori students studying at postgraduate level across the university sector (up from 24% in 2012). 1
  • 15,100 Māori equivalent full-time students (EFTS). This is an increase of 29% since 2012. 1
  • 12% of all domestic university EFTS. 1
  • Average Māori EFTS load (EFTS/student enrolments) increased from 0.74 in 2012 to 0.77 in 2021. 1
  • Māori doctorate students have increased by 53% since 2012. 1
  • Māori doctoral graduates earn more than non-Māori graduates five years after study. 12
  • Māori bachelor’s degree EFTS have increased by 27% in universities since 2012. 1
  • Almost half (48%) of recent Māori university graduates were the first in their families to attend university, one third are parents and 70% are female. 3

Want to know more?

[1] Education Counts, Tertiary Statistics, Tertiary Participation, provider-based enrolments and provider-based equivalent full-time students, Ministry of Education, 2021 data (updated June 2022).

[2] “The outcomes of tertiary education for Māori graduates”, Ministry of Education, 2014. 

[3] “Māori university graduates: Indigenous participation in higher education”, Theodore, R et al. 2015. National Centre for Lifecourse Research, University of Otago. Data from Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand.