Thumbnail Image

Student voice and agency for Indigenous Maori students in higher education transitions

This article reveals the complexities of Indigenous students navigating the neoliberal model of education through an examination of Māori transitions into higher education contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand. In a recently completed doctoral study, the lived transition experiences of Indigenous Māori higher education students were critically investigated from a student voice perspective. Data were collected and analysed through repeated semi-structured interviews, focus groups and visual stories in a semi-longitudinal study with 20 Māori students enrolled in a wānanga, a polytechnic and a university. Using a Bourdieuan theoretical framework for analysis, findings revealed that participants experienced their transition as a journey. Students perpetually evolved their identities and agency in relation to the tertiary education environments and social structures they encountered which supported or constrained transition experiences. Within wānanga, participants felt their Māori cultural identity was highly valued; within polytechnics, there was a sense that Māori culture is included but more could be done; within universities, a need for more inclusive practices to support Māori learner requirements was identified. This empirical research outlines learning for Māori students in higher education, and is a timely addition to knowledge revealing the complexities of teaching in the neoliberal model of higher education with Indigenous people.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Amundsen, D. L. (2019). Student voice and agency for Indigenous Maori students in higher education transitions. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 59(3), 405–434.
Adult Learning Australia Inc
This article is published in Australian Journal of Adult Learning. Used with permission.