Chapter 4: Research degree completions

Research degree completions by ethnicity

4.27Table 4.7 below presents ethnicity counts for RDCs. To provide a maximum of meaningful data on change here, this table covers 2008 to 2011.

Table 4.7: Research degree completions by ethnicity, 2008 to 2011

Ethnicity 2008 Pro-
portion of total 2008
Change 2008 → 2009 2009 Pro-
portion of total 2009
Change 2009 → 2010 2010 Pro-
portion of total 2010
Change 2010 → 2011 2011 Pro-
portion of total 2011
Total
European 1,679 60.94% 5.36% 1,769 60.50% 3.45% 1,830 58.26% 15.79% 2,119 58.81% 7,397
Asian 558 20.25% 9.68% 612 20.93% 19.44% 731 23.27% 19.43% 873 24.23% 2,774
Other 225 8.17% -1.78% 221 7.56% -10.86% 197 6.27% 5.58% 208 5.77% 851
Māori 133 4.83% -5.26% 126 4.31% 23.02% 155 4.93% -9.68% 140 3.89% 554
Not Stated 84 3.05% 10.71% 93 3.18% -18.28% 76 2.42% -6.58% 71 1.97% 324
Pasifika Peoples 72 2.61% 8.33% 78 2.67% 29.49% 101 3.22% -7.92% 93 2.58% 344
MELAA* 4 0.15% 525.00% 25 0.85% 104% 51 1.62% 94.12% 99 2.75% 179
Total 2,755   6.13% 2,924   7.42% 3,141   14.71% 3,603   12,423

*MELAA refers to Middle Eastern/Latin American/African

4.28Year-on-year, the total count of RDCs has continued to rise. Overall the number of RDCs between 2008 and 2011 grew for all ethnicities, with the exception of the ‘Other’, and ‘Not Stated’ categories, down 17 and 13 respectively over the period.

4.29The total proportion of European RDCs declined slightly over the period, starting on a share of 60.94 percent in 2008 and slowly decreasing over time to account for 58.81 percent of the total pool in 2011. During this same period the Asian ethnic category underwent steady growth, going from 20.25 percent in 2008 to account for 24.23 percent of all RDCs by 2011. The MELAA group also notably increased its RDCs, rising from four to 99 counts across this period.

4.30While both the Māori and Pasifika priority groups increased their RDC counts between 2008 and 2011, this was nevertheless achieved on small margins and their shares of total RDCs concurrently decreased.

4.31By 2011, RDCs by Māori accounted for just 3.89 percent (140 counts) of the total pool, compared with 4.83 percent (133 counts) in 2008. While Pasifika students made steady gains with year-on-year percentage increases from 2008 to 2010, this group still only accounted for 2.58 percent of total RDCs in 2011 (compared with their 2.61 percent share in 2008).

4.32Overall these results are disappointing given the equity weighting and additional funding in place to incentivise and support growth in RDCs by these priority ethnic groups.

4.33Factors to consider in the analysis of ethnicity data include the fact that students may report a different ethnicity or ethnicities over the course of their study which can exceed six years in duration.