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Investigating the Social Supports of Successful Māori Undergraduate Appellants at the University of Waikato

Educational disparities between Māori and non-Māori tertiary students are evident in regards to participation, retention, and completion rates at secondary and tertiary levels. Instead of focusing on negative statistics, it was of interest to investigate Māori students who had failed sufficient papers to initially be denied re-entry to university study, yet continued to attain their degrees, as a result of a successful appeal. Māori undergraduate students, who had successfully appealed from 2003-2012, were recruited for my research. The availability and utilisation of social supports were investigated, along with the decision to make an appeal, the role of cultural expectations, and barriers experienced by participants. A mixed method approach was utilised in this research through use of an adapted overarching Kaupapa Māori framework, statistical analysis, and 13 interviews. My research found that social supports were beneficial for participants throughout their appeal, as they provided: emotional, instrumental, appraisal, and informational support. Although the social supports utilised by participants were satisfactory, barriers to accessing formal supports were also found, which included: perceived stigma having failed their papers, pride, as well as being whakamā. The appeal process was a beneficial intervention from the University of Waikato, which provided participants another opportunity to overcome the factors that contributed to their initial failure. Post appeal, participants implemented strategies to address and reduce their factors in order to become academically engaged. Participants were deemed to be resilient from their continued pursuit of degree attainment, implementation of their strategies, and their use of perceived social supports.
Type of thesis
Diamond, D. J. (2013). Investigating the Social Supports of Successful Māori Undergraduate Appellants at the University of Waikato (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8446
University of Waikato
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