Pasifika tertiary education students in 2009

Publication Details

This is edition four in an annual series on Pasifika tertiary education students. There is an associated set of tables available on the Pasifika Tertiary Education Statistics on Education Counts.

This fact sheet includes gender information on Pasifika tertiary education students, the qualifications students are taking, where they are studying, field of study, student allowances and loans and other important characteristics of Pasifika students. Also included is information on Pasifika employees in industry training and some comparisons with international students from the Pacific.

Author(s): Mieke Wensvoort, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting Division, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: January 2011

More Pasifika tertiary education students

In 2009, there were 32,000 enrolments by domestic Pasifika students in formal tertiary qualifications, up 7.3 percent on 2008. Pasifika enrolments had also increased in 2008, up by 1.8 percent, while from 2006 to 2007 they increased by 8.4 percent.

At every qualification level, Pasifika enrolments were higher in 2009 than in 2008, except for level 1 to 3 certificates which remained stable. There were also substantially more younger Pasifika students enrolled in 2009 than in 2008 with the proportion of under-25-year-olds increasing from 46 percent to 49 percent. These increases reflect government's tertiary education priority for young people – more under-25-year-olds achieving qualifications at level 4 and above, particularly degrees.

Enrolments in honours degrees and postgraduate certificates and diplomas increased by 19 percent, graduate certificates and diplomas and level 4 certificates rose by 18 percent each, doctoral enrolments by 16 percent, masters degrees by 11 percent, level 5 to 7 diplomas by 12 percent and bachelors-degree enrolments were 9.8 percent higher in 2008 than in 2009.

Figure 1: Domestic Pasifika students in provider-based formal tertiary education compared with all domestic studentsImage of Figure 1: Domestic Pasifika students in provider-based formal tertiary education compared with all domestic students.

The amount of study undertaken by Pasifika students in 2009, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, increased by 13 percent on the previous year to 20,600. At every qualification level the average study load of students increased from 2008 to 2009 reflecting, in part, the weak employment market. There were more Pasifika people who took the opportunity to study higher-level and longer qualifications to strengthen their position in the labour market. The biggest increases in study load, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, occurred for level 4 certificates up by 762 (25 percent), bachelors degrees, up by 594 (11 percent), level 1 to 3 certificates, up by 429 (7.0 percent), and level 5 to 7 diplomas, up by 396 (15 percent).

Of Pasifika peoples aged 15 years and over, 12.1 percent participated in formal tertiary education in 2009. This compared with a participation rate of 11.4 percent for Europeans, 17.1 percent for Māori and 12.5 percent for Asians. In recent years, the Pasifika participation rate has risen slightly while for the other ethnic groups the rate has fallen slightly.