2. Summary of key findings from the literature
2.1 Transitioning to tertiary education
- Rangatahi lacking guidance, information and support to set goals and to make informed decisions about secondary school study options.
- Rangatahi leaving school without clear educational and career goals and pathways and without having completed relevant subjects and qualifications tied to these goals or pathways.
- Māori learners lacking information, guidance and support post-school and during enrolment. Experiences at this stage influence perceptions of the tertiary environment and can be a tipping point in the decision to engage, or not, in tertiary education.
- Māori learners being unprepared academically and unfamiliar with academic requirements. This can contribute to learners’ sense of isolation, which is reinforced if students are not connected to supportive staff or peers.
Key enablers and opportunities for TEOsTop
School to tertiary transitions
- TEOs establishing strong relationships with schools/wharekura to develop initiatives focused on encouraging students to aspire to tertiary study, to ensure key information is available to students, and to enable TEO engagement with learners and whānau.
- TEOs proactively providing learners and whānau with information, guidance and support to enable rangatahi to develop goals and to make the right decisions to enable them to enrol in relevant tertiary education.
- TEOs establishing culturally relevant and appropriate engagement with rangatahi and whānau, and engagement by peers and role models that shows rangatahi they can aspire to tertiary study and will be welcomed and supported in tertiary environments.
- Ongoing proactive provision of easily accessible information, guidance and support. Support to establish social and academic connections before commencing study.
- Ensuring whānau are involved to facilitate mutual understanding of requirements and expectations, and to support ongoing involvement in students’ learning experiences.
- Providing opportunities to engage Māori learners and whānau, including proactive advisory services and peer mentoring.
- Offering preparatory programmes such as bridging and foundation programmes to enhance learners’ academic preparedness.
First semester experiences
- Facilitation of academic and social engagement should be proactive, culturally appropriate and a normalised part of learning. Māori peer mentors, Māori tutorials, learning communities, and the integration of support into the core curriculum are identified as effectively facilitating such connections and support.
- Frequent, in-depth feedback from academic staff and high-quality teaching.
- Recognition of the importance of holistic wellbeing, and the proactive provision of culturally appropriate pastoral care.
Gaps in recent research and literature Top
- Impact of existing TEO and secondary-school transition initiatives targeting Māori learners (including understanding what learners tend to respond to).
- Impact of government-funded ‘transition initiatives’ influencing how schools and TEOs partner to engage Māori in goal and pathway planning (eg. STAR, Gateway, Modern Apprenticeships, Youth Training, Youth Guarentee).
- Understanding other transition experiences, barriers and enablers, including Māori transitions from wharekura to TEOs; transitions to vocational and employment-based training; experiences of Māori who are not in education, employment or training (NEET); non-school transitions; and TEO relationships with iwi, industry and community agencies to support Māori learners into tertiary education.
- Impact of financial barriers and how this is overcome.
- Understanding the benefits of foundation learning for Māori and what facilitates strong learner outcomes (McMurchy-Pilkington, 2011; May, 2009; Mullane, 2010). There lacks a solid base of information regarding Māori learners’ experiences in foundation-focused training and an understanding of what is facilitating Māori learners to progress from foundation to higher-level study and to do well.
- Research about Māori experiences during the post-school/enrolment phase, including about the existence and effectiveness of preparatory courses.
- Consolidated information specifically demonstrating outcomes for Māori learners’ engagement in learning environments specifically tailored for Māori (such as tutorials), and key factors important in these learning environments.
- Research exploring the key elements that make up an effective peer mentoring/tuakana-teina relationship, including how the relationship impacts on the tuakana or mentor in terms of his or her engagement and progression within the tertiary education environment.
- Research and information specifically exploring quality pastoral care provision for Māori learners in tertiary settings (eg. embedding counselling provision or numeracy and literacy support).