Tertiary institutes look to tech firms to end ethnic disparity

The Tertiary Education Commission believes universities and polytechnics could eradicate decades-old disparities for Māori and Pasifika students in just a few years by copying big firms like Amazon.

It is encouraging tertiary institutions to analyse their student enrolment and performance data to spot people at risk of failing and provide support before they drop out. The commission last year set a five-year goal of eliminating disparities in student pass rates by 2022 and this year it imposed financial penalties on eight institutions with poor results.

It has launched a project to help institutions improve their support for struggling students and has highlighted the experience of Georgia State University in the US, which completely eliminated ethnic disparities in just nine years.

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