Pasifika tertiary education students in 2008 Publications
This is edition three in an annual series on Pasifika tertiary education students.
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: March 2010
In 2008, there were 29,800 enrolments by domestic Pasifika students in formal tertiary qualifications, up 1.8 percent on 2007. The amount of study, as measured in equivalent full-time student units, also increased in 2008 (up by 2.2 percent).
At every qualification level except certificates 1 to 3, Pasifika enrolments were higher in 2008 than in 2007. Level 4 certificate enrolments rose by 8.5 percent, honours and postgraduate certificates and diplomas by 7.2 percent, masters degrees by 5.2 percent, bachelors-level enrolments were up 3.7 percent and doctoral enrolments were 3.4 percent higher in 2008 than in 2007. The smallest increase in enrolments in 2008 was for level 5 to 7 diplomas (up 2.0 percent). In comparison, the total number of domestic enrolments fell from 2007 to 2008, due mainly to a significant decrease in non-degree certificate enrolments. The falls in level 1 to 3 certificate enrolments in 2008 were 12 percent for all domestic students and 1.1 percent for domestic Pasifika students.
The amount of study undertaken by Pasifika students, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, increased in 2008 at every qualification level other than for level 5 to 7 diplomas.
In 2008, 45 percent of Pasifika students were Samoan, 20 percent Cook Island, 18 percent Tongan, 11 percent Fijian, 7 percent Niuean and 2 percent Tokelauan.
Figure 1: Domestic Pasifika students in provider-based formal tertiary education compared with all domestic students
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 or not they are resident in New Zealand or not. Fijian, Tongan and Samoan students who are not New Zealand residents are classed as international students.
The data in this fact sheet is from the tertiary education enrolments collection provided to the Ministry of Education by tertiary education providers. In 2000, the data collection was extended to record multiple ethnicities. Before this, the number of Pasifika students was under-stated. Up to 3 ethnicities are now 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 enrolments-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 fact sheet 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 achievement component-funded learners.
Of Pasifika peoples aged 15 years and over, 11.8 percent participated in formal tertiary education in 2008. This compared with a participation rate of 11.4 percent for European students, 16.9 percent for Māori and 12.4 percent for Asians.
Enrolments by gender
In 2008, there were more female than male students – 17,500 compared to 12,300.
In 2008, the number of male Pasifika students increased by 1.5 percent, compared to an increase of 2.0 percent for females. In 2005 and 2007 enrolments by Pasifika males increased more strongly than for females. Also, when Pasifika student numbers decreased in 2007 as a result of changes in government policy relating to lower-level tertiary qualifications, the fall in the numbers was stronger for women than for men (down 5.5 percent compared to 2.4 percent).
Figure 2: Annual percentage change in the number of Pasifika enrolments by gender
Younger Pasifika students (based on equivalent full-time student units)
From 2007 to 2008, there was a slight decrease in the proportion of Pasifika students aged under 25 years studying qualifications at level 4 and above – 68 percent of Pasifika equivalent full-time student units in 2008, compared to 69 percent in 2007. Before this the proportion of Pasifika under-25-year-olds in qualifications at level 4 and above had been increasing.
The number of enrolments by Pasifika students aged under 25 years enrolled in qualifications at level 4 and above, has risen more strongly in recent years than for domestic students overall. Pasifika enrolments by under-25-year-olds increased by 5.0 percent, on average, over the last five years while for all domestic students, the comparable increase was 1.9 percent.
These increases have led to the narrowing of the gap between the proportions of Pasifika and all domestic under-25-year-olds in level 4 qualifications. In 2008, the Pasifika proportion was 13 percentage points lower, compared to 20 percentage points lower in the late 1990s.
Figure 3: Proportion of under-25-year-olds enrolled in qualifications at level 4 and above
Note: Figure 3 is based on equivalent full-time student units.
Overall, the proportion of young domestic students in qualifications at level 4 and above remained relatively stable from 2000 to 2005 in terms of the number of equivalent full-time student units. This was at a time when New Zealand's unemployment rate tracked downwards resulting in some young people entering employment rather than study. Since 2006, the overall proportion of domestic students aged under 25 years in qualifications at level 4 and above has slowly increased. This trend may have been influenced by the increases in youth unemployment that became visible in 2007.
Participation in non-degree study by Pasifika under-25-year-olds shows that, although enrolments in lower-level certificates peaked in 2005, as a proportion of the total, lower-level certificate enrolments decreased over the last five years from 37 percent in 2003 to 32 percent in 2008.
Pasifika population continues to become younger
Mirroring the Pasifika population as a whole, the Pasifika student population was younger in 2008 than New Zealand's total student population. Forty-six percent of Pasifika students were under 25 years, compared to 41 percent of all domestic students. The situation was reversed for those aged 40 years and over. Close to one in three in the total student population fell into this age group in 2008, while for Pasifika peoples this was only one in five.
In the 2026 projections of the population (Figure 4) the proportion of Pasifika under-25-year-olds is expected to be 53 percent while for the total New Zealand population the expected proportion is 31 percent. As younger students tend to study with the aim of getting a qualification, it is expected that more Pasifika students will gain qualifications.
Figure 4: Projection of the New Zealand Pasifika population in 2026
Note: Source: Statistics New Zealand, 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings.
Pasifika students and qualification levels
Thirty percent of Pasifika students were enrolled in bachelors or higher qualifications in 2008. This compared to 39 percent for all domestic students. Thirty-three percent of female Pasifika students studied bachelors or higher qualifications and 26 percent of male Pasifika students. The comparable figures in 2008 for all domestic students were 44 percent for women and 37 percent for men.
In 2008, 4.0 percent of Pasifika students were enrolled in postgraduate courses (levels 8 to 10). Of all domestic students, just over 9 percent were enrolled at postgraduate level. For Pasifika and all domestic students, there was no difference in 2008 among the genders in the proportions enrolled at postgraduate level.
Figure 5: Equivalent full-time student units in 2008 by qualification level and gender
Compared with total domestic students, there were, proportionately, slightly more Pasifika students studying level 5 to 7 diplomas in 2008. That is, 16 percent of Pasifika students studied at this level compared to 15 percent of all domestic students. There were proportionately, slightly more Pasifika females than males who studied at diploma level in 2008. However, there was a decrease from 2007 to 2008 in the amount of study towards level 5 to 7 diplomas, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, for both domestic Pasifika students and all domestic students.
Pasifika men participated at a higher rate in level 4 certificate study in 2008 than Pasifika women (20 percent compared to 17 percent). Proportionately, there were also more Pasifika men than women who studied towards lower-level certificates in 2008 (47 percent compared to 43 percent). The overall proportion of domestic students enrolled in lower-level certificates was 44 percent of males and 36 percent of females.
Student allowances and loans
In 2008, 4,490 students in receipt of student allowances identified themselves with the Pasifika ethnic group – up 7.1 percent on the previous year. This compares to an increase of 5.2 percent in the total number of allowances recipients.
In 2008, there were 13,800 Pasifika students who borrowed through the Student Loan Scheme, up 9.3 percent on 2007. More students took up loans in 2008 following the introduction of interest-free student loans in 2006. The overall student loan uptake rate – the proportion of students eligible to borrow who actually do so – was 69 percent in 2008. In 2007, the uptake rate was lower at 66 percent.
Over the period from 2000 to 2007, 7.7 percent of borrowers identified themselves as Pasifika, 12 percent as Asian, 19 percent as Māori and 55 percent as European. In comparison, the 2008 ethnic breakdown of tertiary education students comprised: 7.1 percent Pasifika, 12 percent Asians, 19 percent Māori and 66 percent of students identified themselves as Europeans.
Field of study (based on equivalent full-time student units)
In 2009, the Ministry of Education introduced new field of study information focused on the courses studied by tertiary education students. This new approach aims to strengthen the links between the demand for skills and knowledge from the labour market and their supply by the education sector. Seventy-one fields of study are now available by ethnic group from the Ministry's Education Counts website.
Looking at the broad fields of study, 29 percent of Pasifika students studied in the field of management and commerce in 2008, compared to 18 percent of all domestic students. Society and culture and education attracted 21 percent of Pasifika students and 26 percent of total domestic students in 2008. Slightly more Pasifika students than total domestic students were attracted to the field of education (8.0 percent compared to 7.1 percent). Fewer Pasifika students than total domestic students were attracted to the fields of health (7.4 percent compared to 9.0 percent) and to the natural and physical sciences (4.5 percent compared to 7.1 percent). Pasifika and domestic numbers in the creative arts in 2008 were 7.1 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively.
Figure 6: Pasifika full-time equivalent students in 2008 by broad field of study
Pasifika students and industry training
Thirteen percent of Pasifika employees participated in industry training in 2008, down 1.2 percentage points on 2007. Only Māori had a higher participation rate with 17 percent of Māori employees in industry training. Overall, 9.0 percent of employees participated in industry training in 2008.
In 2008, 3.1 percent of modern apprentices identified themselves as Pasifika. As Pasifika made up 9.8 percent of the population aged 15 to 24 years in 2008, this group was under-represented in the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme. Māori were also under-represented among modern apprentices in 2008 as 20 percent were aged 15 to 24 years and 15 percent of apprentices were Māori.
Industry training at the lower qualification levels has decreased in recent years and the proportion of trainees in level 4 and higher qualifications has increased. Ten percent of Pasifika employees trained at level 1 in 2008, compared to 13 percent in 2004. Twenty-seven percent were in level 2 qualifications in 2008, compared to 37 percent in 2004. Similarly, the proportion of trainees in level 3 was 21 percent in 2008, down by 6 percent on the number at that level in 2004. Trainees at level 4 and above accounted for 41 percent of total in 2008. In 2004, this group only comprised 23 percent of all trainees.
A simple measure of achievement in industry training is to average the number of credits passed across the total number of trainees. Pasifika trainees gained 14 credits, on average, towards national qualifications in 2008, compared to 19 credits per trainee overall. Looking at the achievement of national certificates in 2008, 16 percent of Pasifika trainees achieved a national certificate, compared to 18 percent for trainees overall.
Strong growth in Pasifika Gateway placements
Over the last five years, more Pasifika people participated in Gateway – a programme designed to help secondary school students experience tertiary education and achieve outcomes such as gaining employment or achieving credits on the National Qualifications Framework. In 2008, 965 Pasifika learners took part in a Gateway assignment, compared to 337 five years earlier. In 2008, 512 Pasifika women and 453 Pasifika men participated.
In 2008, 709 Pasifika Gateway learners achieved a positive outcome. Sixteen percent started full-time employment, 1.1 percent started part-time employment, 76 percent continued with further training and the remaining Gateway learners had 'other' outcomes.
Figure 7: Pasifika peoples in Gateway
Note: Source: Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).
International students from the Pacific
Enrolments by international Pasifika students increased by 9.3 percent from 2007 to 2008 to 1,690. From 2005 to 2007, international Pasifika enrolments increased by 19 percent, but before this they had declined for three consecutive years.
Sixty-six percent of Pasifika international students studied full-time for a full-year in 2008, in terms of equivalent fulll-time student units.
From 2007 to 2008, international Pasifika enrolments at bachelors-level fell by 3.2 percent to 550 enrolments. However, in terms of equivalent full-time student units, study at this level actually increased by 3.1 percent. In comparison, bachelors-level enrolments increased in 2008 for domestic Pasifika students by 3.7 percent, although the average study load fell in terms of equivalent full-time student units. For all domestic students bachelors-level enrolments increased by 1.7 percent from 2007 to 2008 with students taking on, on average, a higher study load. Before the latest increase, international Pasifika bachelors-level enrolments decreased significantly from 2006 to 2007 both in terms of student numbers and equivalent full-time student units
Over the last five years, international Pasifika students have had similar proportions of women and men. Over this period, women made up 60 percent of domestic Pasifika students and 55 percent of all domestic students.
Thirty percent of international Pasifika students studied in the field of management and commerce in 2008 (based on equivalent full-time student units). The comparable figures were – 29 percent for domestic Pasifika students and 26 percent for all domestic students. In 2008, natural and physical sciences attracted 6.9 percent of international Pasifika student, 4.5 percent of domestic Pasifika students and 3.1 percent of domestic students overall. Nineteen percent of international Pasifika students studied in the field of society and culture and 12 percent studied in the field of engineering in 2008.