How Māori university names promote student inclusivity
ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND - 30 JANUARY 2015: Māori tribe's traditional greeting show. Vicinity of Rotorua town. Source: Shutterstock

While searching for your study abroad options in New Zealand, you may notice the use of Māori names listed underneath the institution’s official name.

Take Massey University of New Zealand as an example, whose Māori name is ‘Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa’, or the Victoria University of Wellington, with ‘Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui’.

By adding this extra layer underneath, universities demonstrate a sense of unity and togetherness many international students respect.

The importance of Māori names at university 

As New Zealand’s official tourism site states, “Māori are the tangata whenua, the indigenous people, of New Zealand. They came here more than 1000 years ago from their mythical Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki. Today Māori make up 14% of our population and their history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.”

The country strives to stay true to its heritage and caters, not just for international learners, but for local students and those from all corners of New Zealand.

By including the Māori name underneath their official title, higher education providers go back to their roots, cementing themselves as hubs of diversity that place culture at the heart.

For potential students, it also shows that the institution is home to a multi-cultural community of learners with a variety of norms and values, ensuring every international applicant feels welcome and comfortable.

Inclusive support services

Alongside a unifying name, many of these New Zealand universities will have specialised support services for their Māori students.

The University of Auckland, for example, has an informative support section for Māori learners that guides them through life on-campus and their university-wide learning community named Tuākana, an initiative that enhances the academic success of Māori and Pacific students.

By integrating support services for both international and local Māori learners, the university increases its inclusivity and cultural consideration.

Māori University Names

If you’re intrigued by this trend, take a look at a few of these university Māori names below and the universities that they belong to:

The University of Waikato: Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

Lincoln University: Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki

The University of AucklandTe Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau

So, what’s your opinion of the Māori university names?

Do you think it’s a great way to stimulate student inclusivity or something only certain universities should consider?

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