Māori Economic Outcomes from Tertiary

Publication Details

This latest in a series of fact sheets on Māori in tertiary education provides information about student loans among Māori students. In addition, an earlier fact sheet on Māori participation in tertiary education is now updated with 2004 enrolment data.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: February 2005

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Tertiary Qualifications in the Māori Population

Over the last eight years, the proportion of the Maori population with a tertiary qualification has increased, from 35 percent in 1998 to 44 percent in 2003. Over the same period, the proportion with a degree qualification or higher increased from 3 to 6 percent.

Figure 1: Distribution of Māori population aged 25-64 by highest qualification 1997-2004

Image of Distribution of Maori population aged 25-64 by highest qualification 1997-2004.
  Note:

  1. Source: Statistics NZ, Household Labour Force Survey (June Quarters).

Both the Māori and the non-Māori populations now have a similar proportion with tertiary qualifications below degree level. However, the proportion of the Māori population with a degree or higher remains significantly lower than for the non-Māori population. The proportion of the Māori population with degrees and above is growing, but not as fast as in the non-Māori population.

These patterns reflect the higher recent participation and completion rates for Māori in certificates. At degree level and above, Maori participation rates were higher in 2004 than eight years earlier, but continue to be below those of non-Māori. Māori completion rates at degree level and above are also lower than those of non-Māori.

Figure 2: Percentage of Māori and non-Māori populations aged 25-64 by highest qualification 1997-2004

Image of Percentage of Maori and non-Maori populations aged 25-64 by highest qualification 1997-2004.
  Notes:

  1. Source: Statistics NZ, Household Labour Force Survey (June Quarters).
  2. Series have been smoothed using trend lines.

Employment

Over the last 14 years, Māori unemployment rates have been substantially higher than those of non-Māori. Over this period, Māori with a tertiary qualification have had somewhat lower unemployment rates than Māori with a school qualification only1.

Figure 3: Unemployment rates for Māori and non-Māori aged 15 and over by highest qualification 1991-2004

Image of Unemployment rates for Maori and non-Maori aged 15 and over by highest qualification 1991-2004.
  Note:

  1. Source: Statistics NZ, Household Labour Force Survey (June Quarters).

The difference in unemployment rates between those with tertiary and school qualifications was larger and more consistent for non-Māori. This may reflect the higher proportion of non-Māori with degree level qualifications.

Income

Over the last eight years, there has been no significant difference in median incomes between Māori and non-Māori with qualifications at degree level or higher. Nor has there been much difference in income between Māori and non-Māori with school qualifications only.However, the median income of Māori with tertiary qualifications below degree level has been lower than that of non-Maori. This may reflect differences in the type and level of qualifications.

Figure 4: Median real annual income for Māori and non-Māori aged 25-64 by highest qualification 1997-2004

Image of Median real annual income for Maori and non-Maori aged 25-64 by highest qualification 1997-2004.
  Note:

  1. Source: Statistics NZ, New Zealand Income Survey.

Additional Income from Completion

Data from the Integrated Dataset on Student Loan Scheme Borrowers shows that there is a greater income advantage in completing a qualification for Māori than for non-Māori.

Figure 5: Mean annual incomes of Māori and non-Māori in 2000 who last studied and borrowed in 1997

Image of Mean annual incomes of Maori and non-Maori in 2000 who last studied and borrowed in 1997.
  Note:

  1. Source: Statistics NZ, Integrated Dataset on Student Loan Scheme Borrowers.

The graph compares the mean incomes of people with a completed qualification with the mean incomes of people with a partially completed qualification. If a point is above the diagonal line, it means that income of those who completed is higher than those who left without completing. The distance from the diagonal line represents the advantage of completing a qualification in terms of additional income.Māori who have completed qualifications have similar levels of income to non-Māori who have completed at the same level. However, Māori who stopped studying without completing a qualification have notably lower income than non-Māori who studied at the same level and did not complete. Therefore, there is a greater advantage to Māori in completing a qualification.

Reliance on Benefits

The Integrated Dataset also provides information on the likelihood of receiving benefit income in the years following study. The graph below shows the proportions of each group who received some income from benefits in the third year after finishing studying.

Māori who completed a qualification are less likely to rely on benefit income after study than Māori who did not complete a qualification. However, Māori in both groups are more likely to rely on benefit income than non-Māori. This reflects the higher proportion of Māori studying at certificate level.

Figure 6: Percentage of Māori and non-Māori in receipt of state benefits in 2000 for those who last studied and borrowed in 1997

Image of Percentage of Maori and non-Maori in receipt of state benefits in 2000 for those who last studied and borrowed in 1997.
  Note:

  1. Source: Statistics NZ, Integrated Dataset on Student Loan Scheme Borrowers.

Māori who completed a diploma or bachelors degree have similar levels of income to non-Māori who completed at the same level. However, Māori who did not complete have notably lower incomes than non-Māori who studied at the same level without completing. This may, in part, explain the lower rates of progress in debt repayment for Māori who did not complete diplomas or bachelors degrees.

Incomes of all students who last studied at postgraduate level are notably higher than those of students finishing at lower levels. This explains the high proportion of these students who make progress with debt repayment, in spite of the fact that they leave with the highest student loans.

Footnote

  1. Māori unemployment rates by level of tertiary qualification are not available, due to the small sample sizes in the HLFS.

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