Māori university graduates say that support from whānau is the most important factor that helped them to complete their qualifications, according to research published by the University of Otago’s National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR).
Respondents said their whānau provided practical support like accommodation and childcare, as well as emotional support and the motivation to succeed.
However, the findings also show that childcare, work commitments and financial pressures can make completion of studies more difficult for some Māori students.
One student at Lincoln University told Stuff she was disheartened by a “significant” decrease in Māori staff on campus this year, but was motivated by “the example I set for my whānau.”
A TEU report into whitestreaming published last year revealed that every university in New Zealand has cut jobs that support Māori students.
“This new research clearly shows how important whānau is to helping Māori students complete their studies. For those that do find studying difficult, there should be specific support services in place to help. However, as a result of National’s underfunding we have seen these services cut.” TEU national president, Sandra Grey said.
NCLR’s findings are from the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand, an ongoing project that, over a 10-year period, will investigate the employment, health and social outcomes of more than 8,700 graduates from all eight New Zealand universities.