Promising Futures Te Kawau Mārō: The Lifeworlds of highly qualified Māori - a cohort study of Māori PhD students and graduates
The teaching and development of a vibrant, dynamic, highly educated and sustainable Māori workforce operatingat the highest levels of tribal and government leadership and civic society, is crucial to driving positive economic, social and environmental transformation in Aotearoa. Current and future generations of Māori PhD students and graduates, Māori scholars and researchers, are needed to undertake excellent and transformative research, run research organisations and be change makers within their communities and New Zealand society more broadly.
Despite the need for Māori PhD graduates and academics in academic tribal and civil society, Māori are underrepresented within the academic workforce in New Zealand.1 Few secure long-term employment in universities where future generations of Māori are educated. Māori academics are critical for Māori students to achieve educational success as Māori, developing and delivering programmes that are culturally inclusive and provide opportunities to engage with Te Ao Māori including learnings around Te Reo, Tikanga and Mātauranga. The provision of Government tertiary education policy to date has focused on improving post-school transitions and Māori achievement at bachelor levels or above. Much less work has focused on enhancing Māori success at advanced degree levels or post-PhD within academia.
This project will enhance current understandings of the experiences, challenges and opportunities experienced by Māori PhD graduates, in particular, their employment and life trajectories post-graduation. The project will also examine and scope the intellectual, cultural, economic and social contribution they make to whānau, hapū, iwi and civil society nationally and internationally. In doing this we aim to build upon the work and legacy of nearly 800 Māori who have graduated with PhDs in the past 20 years. To that end, the project will work closely with the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Te Kupenga o MAI programme.
The overall goal of this study is to provide an evidential basis for new conversations and models about the role of highly qualified Māori in the labour-force. The project will contribute towards strategies to address current shortages of highly qualified Māori experts operating in leadership roles in academia, iwi, government, and civil society.