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Out of class factors key to pass rates

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The Tertiary Education Commission is telling institutions to improve the results for their Māori and Pasifika students or lose their funding.

Deputy chief executive Paora Ammunson says there is a 20 percent gap in completion of level seven and above degrees, between Māori and Pacific folk and other New Zealanders.

Other parity goals in the system are generally magnitude five to 15 percent.

He says there are examples internationally which show a five-year turnaround is possible, and in New Zealand the Eastern Institute of Technology in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay is showing the way.

"The learners that struggle the most are often the first in their family to go to tertiary study. They might be looking after a child on their own. They might haved to drive a couple of hours to get to the institution. They might struggle with enrollment. They might take an inappropriate study load. Those are actually much bigger predictors of risk for a learner achieving what they want to achieve than Māori-ness or Pasifika-ness and if an institution can focus on those things they can get success and they can turn it around really quick," Mr Ammundsen says.

The commission intends to discuss with institutions what they are doing about Māori pass rates, and if the response is unsatisfactory it could divert funding to higher-performing 


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