Education Minister, Jan Tinetti, today announced a new fund aimed at helping to remove barriers and improve opportunities for the most underserved tertiary students in New Zealand.
The Minister said the Government is reprioritising $10 million for Tūwhitia – a new fund that will co-invest with tertiary institutions to improve passing rates, participation and overall learning.
“Successfully gaining a tertiary qualification – be it through an apprenticeship, a diploma, or a degree – improves lifelong outcomes for individuals, whānau, communities and for the whole country,” Ms Tinetti said.
“Yet some groups of students are statistically less likely to succeed in tertiary education, namely Māori, Pacific, disabled, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and people who are the first in their family to attend tertiary education.
“Currently, when a student starts in tertiary education there is very little monitoring of attendance in class or of their individual achievement. It means these learners, who may require a bit more support, can be overlooked.
“This fund will help improve data collection and information gathering – which some tertiary providers already do – so that these students are picked up and supported before they’re at risk of dropping out,” she said.
The fund will also support tertiary institutions to take proactive action with students to address the barriers which are stopping them from succeeding, the Minister said.
“This could look like, new programmes to target secondary students to tertiary education from low decile schools, working with iwi, schools, community groups and industry to improve the range of offerings and support, or the design, development, and implementation of student support services.”
“I know that tertiary institutions will have other ideas about how to improve student success and this fund will make it easier to get these initiatives up and running.
“This is another step this Government’s taking in the right direction towards an education system that is accessible and supports all students to fulfil their potential,” Ms Tinetti said.