Pasifika tertiary education students in 2007 by ethnicity Publications
This is edition two in an annual series on the Pasifika tertiary education students by ethnicity.
This fact sheet includes gender information on the ethnicities of New Zealand’s Pasifika tertiary education students. It shows the trends in participation in tertiary study for the various Pasifika ethnicities: what qualifications Pasifika students are taking, where they are studying, their field of study, their ages, and other important characteristics of Pasifika students.
Author(s): Mieke Wensvoort, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting, Ministry of Education
Date Published: April 2009
In 2007, 13,200 tertiary education enrolments were made by students who identified themselves as Samoan (out of 29,300 total Pasifika enrolments). Cook Island students were the second largest Pasifika ethnicity followed by Tongans who had the biggest increase in their number in 2007.
Table 1 below lists the number of enrolments in 2007 for each Pasifika ethnicity and the percentage change from the previous year. The proportion each ethnicity represents of the total population aged 15 years and over is also included in the table.
|Ethnicity||Pasifika Enrolments|| Proportion|
of the NZ
of Total %
Figure 1: Samoans and Cook Islanders in formal tertiary education by gender
More Pasifika men in lower-level certificate study
The majority of men identifying with the Cook Island, Niuean and Tokelauan ethnicities studied level 1 to 3 certificates in 2007. Samoans, Tongans and the Other Pasifika group had over 45 percent of men studying lower-level certificates. In 2007, Fijian students had the lowest percentage of men studying at this level (35 percent).
The proportion of Pasifika women studying level 1 to 3 certificates in 2007 was about 8 percentage points lower, on average, than for Pasifika men. Nevertheless, the majority of Cook Island women, and over 40 percent of Samoan, Tongan, Niuean and Tokelauan women, studied lower-level certificates in 2007. Twenty-eight percent of Fijian women were studying lower-level certificates and for the Other Pasifika group the proportion was 32 percent.
The same proportions of Pasifika men and women – 16 percent – studied level 4 certificates in 2007. Samoans, Cook Islanders and Tongans had about 18 percent of both men and women studying at this qualification level, while the proportions ranged from 12 to 16 percent for the other ethnicities. Fijian men and women had the lowest percentages studying level 4 certificates.
Figure 2: Tongans and Fijians in formal tertiary education by gender
Overall, slightly fewer Pasifika men than Pasifika women, proportionately, studied level 5 to 7 diplomas in 2007. Nineteen percent of Fijian males studied at this level and about 18 percent each of Niuean women and Tongan men and women. Of those identifying with the Cook Island ethnicity, 15 percent of women and 11 percent of men studied level 5 to 7 diplomas.
In 2007, there were proportionately more women studying bachelors-level qualifications than men in the case of every Pasifika ethnicity. For example, 44 percent of Fijian women were enrolled in a bachelors degree compared to 35 percent of Fijian men. For the other ethnicities the figures were: Other Pasifika – 38 percent women, 27 percent men; Samoans – 29 percent women, 23 percent men; Tongan – 29 percent women, 21 percent men; Tokelauans – 29 percent women, 19 percent men; Niueans – 25 percent women, 20 percent men; and Cook Islanders – 20 percent women, 14 percent men.
Pasifika men and women had similar representations in postgraduate study in 2007. Niuean and Other Pasifika men and women and Cook Island men had the highest proportions studying at this level – about one in every ten students.
2007 enrolments increase for every ethnicity
Overall, tertiary education enrolments made by Pasifika peoples increased by 8.2 percent from 2006 to 2007. Enrolments increased for every ethnicity – Tongans 14 percent, Samoans 8.7 percent, Fijians 8.1 percent, Niueans 7.8 percent, Tokelauns 7.2 percent, Other Pasifika 6.4 percent and Cook Islanders 3.4 percent. In contrast, total domestic enrolments decreased slightly (down 0.9 percent).
Figure 3: Samoans, Tongans and Fijians in postgraduate study
Postgraduate enrolments by Tongans increased by 18 percent from 2006 to 2007 and in terms of equivalent full-time student units the increase was stronger at 29 percent. The comparable increases for Samoans were 10 percent and 12 percent, respectively. The number of Fijian postgraduate students also rose strongly from 2006 to 2007 – up by 23 percent, although in terms of the amount of study the increase was slightly lower at 14 percent.
Figure 4: Cook Islanders, Niueans, Tokelauans and Other Pasifika in postgraduate study
Niuean postgraduate enrolments increased in number by 3.3 percent in 2007 but, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, study at this level fell by 8.2 percent. This was the result of an increase in students studying part-time. The number of Cook Island postgraduate students fell from 2006 to 2007 by 5.1 percent and postgraduate enrolments by Tokelauans also decreased. Tokelauan enrolments fell by 27 percent, although, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, the decrease was less severe (18 percent).
Post-graduate enrolments by Other Pasifika ethnicities decreased by 15 percent from 2006 to 2007 and, in terms of equivalent full-time students, the decrease was 8.9 percent. The total number of domestic postgraduate students rose by 7.5 percent from 2006 to 2007 and total domestic equivalent full-time student units increased by 11 percent.
Figure 5: Samoans, Cook Islanders, Tongans and Fijians in bachelors-level study
Bachelors-level enrolments increased from 2006 to 2007 for all Pasifika ethnicities except Cook Islanders for whom enrolments declined slightly. The increases in bachelors-level enrolments ranged from 5.4 percent for Niueans to 17 percent for Tongans. In comparison, total domestic enrolments at bachelors-level increased by 1.5 percent. The amount of bachelors-level study, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, increased in 2007 for all the Pasifika ethnicities including Cook Islanders.
Figure 6: Niueans, Tokelauans and Other Pasifika in bachelors-level study
The number of students in level 5 to 7 diplomas increased in 2007 for every Pasifika ethnicity, but the size of the increases varied considerably. Also, in the case of Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans, the amount of diploma-level study decreased in terms of equivalent full-time student units. The increases in diploma enrolments were: Tongans 25 percent, Fijians 21 percent, Niueans and Other Pasifika 10 percent, Samoans 7.1 percent, Tokelauns 3.2 percent and Cook Islanders 2.3 percent. In comparison, the total number of domestic students in level 5 to 7 diplomas increased by 2.0 percent.
In 2007, level 4 certificate enrolments increased for all Pasifika ethnicities. The size of the increases varied – Tongans and Fijians 26 percent, Samoans 25 percent, Cook Islanders 14 percent, Tokelauns 11 percent, Niueans 9.4 percent and Other Pasifika 6.3 percent. Other Pasifika were the only group to record a decrease in level 4 certificate study in terms of equivalent full-time students. Level 4 certificate enrolments by all domestic students increased from 2006 to 2007 by 13 percent and remained stable in terms of equivalent full-time students.
Pasifika lower-level certificates (level 1 to 3 certificates) enrolments fell in 2006. This followed reviews of non-degree qualifications in 2004 and 2005 and funding changes aimed at getting more young people into higher-level qualifications. However, in 2007, these enrolments increased by 4.2 percent largely through growth in these enrolments in polytechnics and wānanga. Fijians were the only group to record both a decline in level 1 to 3 certificate enrolments and equivalent full-time student units. Tongan participation in lower-level certificates also fell in terms of equivalent full-time student units (down 1.2 percent).
Broad fields of study (based on equivalent full-time students)
From 2006 to 2007, the proportion of Samoans studying management and commerce increased by 2.2 percentage points to 30 percent. Samoans studying society and culture increased proportionately by about one percentage point, while the proportion in education and mixed field programmes decreased by one percentage point. Proportionately more Niueans studied society and culture in 2007 (up 1.5 percentage points). Study by Tokelauans of management and commerce increased proportionately by 2.1 percentage points and that of society and culture by 2.8 percentage points. The proportions of Tokelauans in the creative arts, information technology and mixed field programmes were 1 or 2 percentage points smaller in 2007 (see Table 1).
Tongan students were represented in the various fields of study in very similar proportions in 2006 and 2007. The proportion of Cook Islanders in mixed field programmes (1.8 percentage points) decreased while the proportions in management and commerce and food, hospitality and personal services increased by about one percentage point. Fijians studying engineering and mixed field programmes fell proportionately by about one percentage point while the proportion in information technology increasedby1.3 percentage points. Other Pasifika had proportionately fewer people studying management and commerce, mixed field programmes and natural and physical sciences in 2007, while the proportions in health and society and culture increased.
About the data used in this fact sheet:
The information presented here refers to New Zealand's domestic Pasifika students enrolled in provider-based formal qualifications of more than one week's duration, unless otherwise stated.
Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans are grouped with domestic Pasifika students, whether they are resident in New Zealand or not. Fijian, Tongan and Samoan students who are not New Zealand residents are classed as international students.
In 2000, the data collection was extended to record multiple ethnicities. Before this, the number of Pasifika students was under-stated. Only one ethnicity was collected before 2000, while now up to 3 ethnicities are collected and students are counted in each group.
Students may be enrolled with a tertiary education provider at any time during the year.
From 1999 onwards, information for private training establishments has been included in the statistical collections. Private providers are included if they receive government enrol-ments-based funding or if their students were eligible to apply for loans or allowances.
The equivalent full-time student (EFTS) unit referred to in this factsheet is a measure or 'size' of each student's enrolment. One equivalent full-time student unit represents the load taken by a student enrolled full-time for one year. Part-time study years are expressed as proportions of an EFTS, for example, 0.75 EFTS. The equivalent full-time student count is the sum of the EFTS units for a year. The equivalent full-time student count used in this fact-sheet does not equate to the count of student component-funded learners.
Visit the fact sheet on Pasifika Peoples in Tertiary Education in New Zealand: 2007 on Education Counts.