Evaluating vocational tertiary education programs in a small remote community in Aotearoa New Zealand

Heather Ruth Hamerton, Sharlene Henare



Tertiary vocational programs offered in a small remote town in Aotearoa New Zealand were delivered in partnership with indigenous community organizations and other stakeholders to prepare people for future regional developments in primary industries.  An evaluation investigated the impact of these programs on students, their families and the community.  Qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with staff, students and community stakeholders. Student outcomes were high across all programs evaluated.  Participants attributed the high success rate for students, the majority of whom were indigenous, to the strong relationships developed and fostered between community people, students and teaching staff and to the relevance of the programs with clear links to the region’s economic development goals. They emphasized the importance of educational pathways from school into tertiary education.  Tertiary study impacted not only the students, many of whom were previously disengaged from education, but also their extended families. The evaluation confirmed the value of partnering with communities to deliver vocational education that meets their identified needs.


vocational education; indigenous education; second chance education; community partnerships; educational evaluation

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