19 August 2002
Government And Tertiary Education Providers Continue To Fail Màori Students
Màori students are more likely to drop-out of study or fail to gain qualifications than their non-Màori counterparts,
research by the Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association (ATSA) reveals. In addition, Maori are more likely to debt-fund
their study than non-Màori. Since the Student Loan Scheme began in 1992, Maori have borrowed more than $880 million.
Additional interest charges bring that debt to nearly one billion dollars, or one fifth of the current $5 billion owed
by all students to the scheme.
"It is almost a crime that we are giving Maori tertiary students huge loans to enter a system that is more likely to
fail them than non-Màori," said ATSA President Julie Pettett. "The higher drop-out and failure rates of Màori indicates
our institutions are failing to cater for their needs. There is something fundamentally wrong with the system."
"Quite apart from the social costs and personal financial loss Màori suffer, institutions face substantial waste as a
result of this completion failure," said Pettett. "Student attrition is a total waste of teaching resources, time and
financial capital that is spent on the delivery of educational opportunities."
"Last year ATSA held a hui which discussed the financial and social issues facing Màori tertiary students. It was
realised then that a second hui which focussed on Màori student retention was needed," said Pettett. "This week's Te Hui
Tauira will identify what Màori students see as the solutions. Màori will invite institutions and the government to
support these solutions."