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New Zealand Specific Healthcare Question 4
Indigenous and minority students, as well as those from low socio-economic backgrounds often struggle in tertiary settings. This has lead to entry categories being made for these populations. In your opinion is this fair? Are there any problems with this method? What are the solutions?
Creating entry categories for these students goes some way towards evening the playing field with students who have come from more affluent backgrounds and have received support (both financial and or emotional), throughout their schooling. These affluent students are likely to continue to receive this support as they progress through their tertiary studies, whereas indigenous and minority students may not.
Problems exist when students who do not fit into these minority or indigenous groups miss out on places, even though they are deserving of a one when considering their credentials. This issue could be solved by having the total number of entrants exclusive of priority entrants, or if no suitable candidate can be found to fill a priority student category then making up the numbers with “non-priority” students.
An additional problem may occur if a minority student is granted entry, but they do not need to meet the same entry requirements as other non-minority students. This may be setting these students up to fail. Potential solutions, in this case, could involve a mentoring system which supports these students academically.