Educational achievement in Maori: the roles of cultural identity and social disadvantage.
achievement longitudinal study cultural identity indigenous peoples social disadvantage socio-economic status
One of the most well-established features of New Zealand's education system is the enduring disparity in educational achievement between Maori and non-Maori. Using the standard educational indicators of participation and attainment, Maori are less likely to attend an early childhood education facility before entering primary school, are far less likely to leave school with upper-secondary-school qualifications, and are also less likely to possess formal or tertiary-level qualifications when compared to other New Zealanders (Ministry of Social Development, 2007). In addition, there has been a worrying trend in the rising truancy and suspension rates of Maori relative to school attendance (Ministry of Education, 2007). Given the recognised contribution of education to improve income levels, standards of living and psychosocial outcomes (Duncan et al., 1998; Fergusson, Swain-Campbell & Horwood, 2002; Fergusson & Woodward, 2000), these consistently lower levels of achievement by Maori in New Zealand's education system have been a long standing source of concern and debate (Fergusson, Lloyd & Horwood, 1991; van Meijl, 1994; Alton-Lee, 2003; Ministry of Education, 2005). Two schools of thought have come to dominate discussion on the origins of this discrepancy in educational performance between Maori and non-Maori and why it persists.
The first view argues that, with the colonisation of New Zealand, Maori have been subjected to continuous disadvantage in an education system and curriculum that was imposed upon them (Bishop & Glynn, 1999; Pihama et al., 2002; L.T. Smith, 1999).Although variations in this argument are evident, all assume that differences in culture play a critical role in explaining Maori educational underachievement. From this perspective, present-day disparities are the result of an education system that historically neglected to recognise cultural differences between Maori and non-Maori. Included among the commonly cited differences are disparate world views (L.T. Smith, 1999), distinct pedagogical practices (Bishop, Berryman & Richardson, 2002), and contrasting styles of cognition (Durie, 1994). By failing to acknowledge, and cater for, these assumed differences, it is believed that Maori were being educated in culturally inappropriate learning environments. Central to this view is the contention that Maori educational underachievement is best understood as an outcome of a systemic failure to actively recognise, transmit and reinforce Maori cultural values and beliefs across the education spectrum (Fitzsimons & Smith, 2000).The result of this failure, it is claimed, has been a loss of cultural esteem and, by direct association, Maori identity, which has led to current disparities between Maori and non-Maori in education (Durie, 2005; Bishop et al., 2007).
The second school of thought has focused on the role of socio-economic disparities rather than cultural differences to explain the educational gap between Maori and other New Zealanders (Chapple et al., 1997). Importantly, this perspective duly recognises that Maori have indeed been subjected to adverse historical processes such as colonialism, institutional racism and judicial disadvantage (Poata-Smith, 1997; Freeman-Moir, 1997). As a consequence, it is acknowledged that Maori represent a minority ethnic group that has endured serious hardship including loss of customary rights and significant disruption to social organisation. While these factors are accepted as influencing Maori socio-political structures, the underlying cause believed to impede educational achievement by Maori is access to, and participation in, New Zealand's capitalist economic system (Chapple, 1999, 2000; Rata, 2003).Accordingly, it is the disadvantaged position of Maori within the nation's labour market economy that has led to poorer education outcomes for Maori. Integral to this alternative perspective are the links made between economic status, resource capacity and educational performance.
With respect to economic status, Maori continue to occupy a more marginalised position when compared to other New Zealanders (Statistics New Zealand, 2002). Proponents of this view posit that the lower socio-economic status of Maori directly constrains access to the resources known to influence education participation and attainment. To take one example, because Maori are more likely to be brought up in a single-parent environment than non-Maori, access to income may be limited, which can influence the material conditions and intra-familial dynamics within the family unit (Ministry of Women's Affairs, 2001). In turn, Maori may be exposed to greater social adversity and psychosocial risk than other New Zealanders, the influence of which is revealed through lower educational achievement (Chapple et al., 1997). Critically, this position argues that it is not ethnicity or culture per se that influences education outcomes; rather, educational differentiation between groups is a product of their respective economic positioning within specific nations (Marks, 2006). Applied to the New Zealand context, educational underachievement of Maori arises through the lower socio-economic status of this group's members within the nation's labour market.
The issue that clearly divides these two schools of thought concerns the mechanisms that lead to educational underperformance by Maori. The first view, which advocates a cultural model of explanation, assumes that these mechanisms are specific to Maori. This model has led to the development of cultural-specific education domains where the education of Maori is initiated within the auspices of a Maori world view using alternative pedagogical practices. On the other hand, the second view offers a socio-economic model of explanation. This perspective argues that it is the lower socio-economic status of Maori that inhibits access by Maori to the resources that lead to better educational outcomes. Contrary to the cultural model of explanation, this second view suggests that educational underachievement arising through limited access to resources is not unique to Maori. Any economically disadvantaged group, irrespective of ethnicity or culture, will be exposed to the risk factors and life processes that result in educational underperformance.
Despite the length and extent of the debate about the origins of Maori educational disadvantage, there have been few studies that have sought to ascertain the extent to which differences in cultural identity and socio-economic status account for the ethnic differences in educational underachievement. In this article we use data gathered over the course of a 25-year longitudinal study to examine the contributions of these factors to educational outcomes in adolescence and young adulthood. The specific aims of this article were the following:
* to document the association between Maori cultural identity and overall levels of educational achievement by the age of 25;
* to examine the extent to which ethnic disparities in educational achievement could be explained by socio-economic factors, including maternal and paternal education, family socio-economic status and family living standards.
More generally the aims were to explore the relative roles of cultural identification and social disadvantage in contributing to the educational disadvantage of young Maori adults.
The data were gathered during the course of the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS). In this study, a birth cohort of 1265 children (635 males, 630 females) born in the Christchurch (New Zealand) urban region in mid-1977 has been studied at birth, 4 months, 1 year and annually to age 16 years, and again at ages 18, 21 and 25 years. Information from a variety of sources has been used including parental interviews; teacher reports; self-reports; psychometric assessments; medical and other record data (Fergusson & Horwood, 2001; Fergusson, Horwood, Shannon & Lawton, 1989).The analyses were based on 984 study participants for whom information was available for ethnic identity at age 21 years and educational outcomes to age 25 (77.8 per cent of the original sample). All study information was collected on the basis of signed and informed consent from study participants.
At age 21 years, respondents were asked about their ancestry, cultural identification, level of participation in Maori cultural domains and proficiency in the Maori language (Broughton et al., 2000). These are widely used as standard indicators to determine degrees of Maori ethnic identification and Maori cultural identity. On the basis of this questioning, 11.1 per cent of sample members self-identified as New Zealand Maori. A further breakdown of this group showed 45.9 per cent reporting sole Maori identity and 54.1 per cent reporting Maori ethnic identity and identity with another ethnic group. For the purposes of the present analysis, those reporting sole Maori identity were classified as having a sole Maori identity, while those reporting both Maori identity and another ethnic identity were classified as having Maori-other ethnic identity. All other participants were classified as being non-Maori. Comparisons of the sole Maori and Maori-other group showed sole Maori participants were more likely to endorse having taken part in several aspects of Maori culture, including: frequency of marae visits (p < .001); being a member of a Maori group, organisation or sports team (p < .05); being a member of a kapa haka (cultural performance) group (p < .001); attending tangi (funeral) or unveiling (p < .001); listening to Maori language radio programs and watching Maori language television programs (p < .001); and listening and watching programs in English about Maori (p < .001). The descriptors 'sole Maori', 'Maori-other ethnic identity', and 'non-Maori' were originally recommended by Pomare and colleagues (1995) in their analyses examining ethnic trends in public health epidemiology.
The outcome measures in the present study were based on assessments of cohort members' attainment of New Zealand high school and tertiary educational qualifications. The measures were chosen to reflect an ascending and progressive order of qualifications from those who attained no educational qualifications to those who attained a university degree. It should be noted that the cohort members completed high school qualifications that were in effect prior to the adoption of a revised framework of qualifications in 2002.
At ages 18, 21 and 25, cohort members were questioned about their history of enrolment in educational institutions and their attainment of educational qualifications. Using this information the following hierarchy of measures of educational attainment was developed for the current investigation.
No high school qualifications Sample members who had never attained any of the high school qualifications listed below by age 21, either while they were at high school or subsequently as adult students, were classified as having no high school qualifications: 18.1 per cent of the sample had failed to attain any high school qualifications.
School Certificate passes At ages 18 and 21, participants were questioned as to the number of School Certificate examinations they had undertaken and the grades received for each subject. A measure of success in School Certificate examinations was based on a count of the number of pass (A, B or C) grades attained in these examinations.
Sixth Form Certificate At ages 18 and 21, participants were questioned as to whether they had achieved Sixth Form Certificate and the subjects undertaken: 68.9 per cent of the sample reported having attained Sixth Form Certificate.
Higher School Certificate At ages 18 and 21, sample members were questioned about the attainment of Higher School Certificate: 42.3 per cent of the sample had attained this qualification.
University Bursary At ages 18 and 21 participants were questioned as to whether they had undertaken University Bursary examinations and the outcome of these examinations: 28.1 per cent of the sample had passed the requirements for receiving a university bursary.
Attended university At ages 21 and 25, sample members were questioned as to whether they had ever enrolled at University, either full time or part time: 39.9 per cent of the sample reported attending university by age 25.
University degree or equivalent At age 25, sample members were questioned as to whether they had ever attained a bachelor's level or higher degree from a university or equivalent tertiary institution: 26.1 per cent of the sample reported having attained a degree.
Overall achievement score Finally, a further outcome measure was devised to reflect the overall progression of each cohort member through the hierarchy of educational qualifications. Each level in the progression was assigned an ordinal value (from 0 = no high school qualifications to 6 = gained university degree), and each individual received a score based on his or her highest level of qualification. This score served as a measure of overall achievement in these analyses.
A range of covariate factors were chosen for the analyses, based on their correlation with ethnic identity, and previous research on the present cohort suggesting that the factors were related to educational achievement. The following covariate factors were chosen for inclusion.
Maternal and paternal education Maternal and paternal education level was assessed at the time of the survey child's birth using a three-point scale that reflected the highest level of educational achievement attained. This scale was 1 = parent lacked formal educational qualifications (had not graduated from high school); 2 = parent had secondary-level educational qualifications (had graduated from high school); 3 = parent had tertiary-level qualifications (had obtained a university degree or tertiary technical qualification).
Family socio-economic status (at birth) This was assessed at the time of the survey child's birth using the Elley-Irving (1976) scale of socio-economic status for New Zealand. This scale classifies socio-economic status into six levels on the basis of paternal occupation ranging from 1 = professional occupations to 6 = unskilled occupations.
Average family living standards (ages 0-10). At each year a global assessment of the material living standards of the family was obtained by means of an interviewer rating. Ratings were made on a five-point scale that ranged from 'very good' to 'very poor'. These ratings were summed over the 10-year period and divided by 10 to give a measure of typical family living standards during this period.
Associations between cultural identification and educational achievement
Table 1 shows the sample classified into three groups on the basis of ethnic identification reported at age 21: non-Maori (n = 875), sole Maori identity, (n = 50) and Maori-other ethnic identity (n = 59). For each group, Table 1 shows rates of educational achievement outcomes over the period to age 25. Non-Maori reported the highest levels of educational attainment, followed by those of Maori-other ethnic identity, and finally those of sole Maori identity. To test these trends for significance, logistic and multiple regression models were fitted to the individual educational achievement outcomes and the overall educational achievement score by age 25. The results of this analysis are summarised in Table 1, which shows the following effects:
* The overall significance of ethnicity as a predictor of educational achievement. The results show a statistically significant tendency (all p values < .01) for educational achievement to vary with ethnic identification. For the overall educational achievement score, participants in the Maori identification groups had a significantly lower score than non-Maori (p < .0001).
* Pairwise contrasts between the three groups. These show that non-Maori had levels of educational achievement that were significantly greater than those of sole Maori (all p values < .01) on each individual measure of educational achievement, as well as the overall measure of educational achievement (p < .0001). Non-Maori also had significantly (all p values < .05) higher levels of achievement than those of Maori-other identity on four of seven individual measures of educational achievement (School Certificate passing grades; Higher School Certificate; University Bursary, gaining university degree). In addition, non-Maori had significantly (p < .05) higher scores than those of Maori-other identity on the overall educational achievement measure. There was a marginally significant difference (p < .10) between the two Maori identity groups on the measure of overall educational achievement, with those of Maori-other ethnic identity having marginally higher levels of overall educational achievement by age 25.
Associations between cultural identification and socio-economic factors
Table 2 shows the associations between cultural identification and a range of socio-economic factors (see Methods). The associations were tested for significance using multiple regression models for continuous measures and logistic regression for dichotomous (percentage) measures. Table 2 shows the following results:
* In general, non-Maori had lower rates of adverse socio-economic factors than either sole Maori or Maori-other identity groups. Non-Maori had significantly lower rates of parents lacking formal educational qualifications than either sole Maori (p < .0001) or Maori-other identity (p < .01), as well as significantly higher mean levels of socio-economic status at birth than either sole Maori (p < .0001) or Maori-other identity (p < .01).There were no significant differences between the two Maori identity groups on these measures (all p values > .10).
* Non-Maori had higher levels of average family living standards from ages 0-10 years than either sole Maori (p < .0001) or Maori-other identity (p < .0001). In addition, those of Maori-other identity had significantly higher levels of average family living standards than those of sole Maori identity (p < .05).
Adjustments for socio-economic factors
One explanation for the ethnic identification differences observed in Table 1 is that these differences reflect between-group differences in exposure to socioeconomic disadvantage. To examine this issue, the associations between cultural identification and the educational achievement outcomes shown in Table 1 were adjusted to take account of the socio-economic factors listed in Table 2 by extending the logistic and multiple regression models to include the socio-economic covariate factors. The results of these analyses are shown in Table 3, which gives the percentages (for dichotomous outcomes) and means (for continuous outcomes) after adjustment for socio-economic factors. Estimates of the adjusted means or percentages for each outcome were obtained using the methods described by Lee (1981).Table 3 shows that, in all cases, adjustment for socio-economic factors substantially reduced the size of the between-group differences in educational achievement. Furthermore, with the exception of university degree attainment, adjustment for covariate factors reduced the size of the group differences to statistical nonsignificance (all p values > .20). For university degree attainment, those of Maori- other ethnic identity were significantly (p < .05) less likely to have completed a university degree than those in the non-Maori group after adjustment for socioeconomic factors. These findings suggest that the differences between cultural identification groups in terms of educational achievement may, for the most part, be attributed to increased rates of exposure during childhood to adverse socioeconomic conditions amongst individuals in the two Maori identity groups.
Over the previous two decades, educational policy in New Zealand has undergone a major transformation (Alton-Lee, 2003; Fitzsimons & Smith, 2000). The key objective motivating this transformation has been to improve the learning experiences and educational performance of Maori, who traditionally have not achieved at the same level as other New Zealanders in this realm. The development of a parallel system of education for Maori is often noted as an exemplar of the educational reforms (Bishop et al., 2007; G. H. Smith, 2000). For this reason it has been suggested that the primary institution where Maori cultural revitalisation has taken place is education (Bishop & Glynn, 1999; Pihama et al., 2002;G. H. Smith, 2000). Within the field, there has also been a concerted debate about the respective contributions of cultural identity and socio-economic status in influencing Maori educational outcomes.
In this research, we have used data gathered over the course of a 25-year longitudinal study to examine the links between ethnic identification, social disadvantage and educational achievement. The study has a number of advantages including: collection of longitudinal data on educational outcomes from the point of school leaving into young adulthood; assessment of variations in ethnic identification; and prospective measurement of exposure to family socio-economic disadvantage in childhood. The study leads to the following findings and conclusions.
In agreement with previous findings (Fergusson, Lloyd & Horwood, 1991) there were consistent tendencies for levels of educational achievement by age 25 to vary with ethnic identification. Maori fared less well on a wide range of measures, including levels of achievement at secondary school and participation in tertiary study. While those with a sole Maori identity tended to have lower educational achievement than those reporting Maori and other identity, these differences were relatively small and statistically non-significant.
Further analysis showed clear links between measures of family socioeconomic status and cultural identification. This analysis showed that those reporting Maori ethnic identity were exposed to far greater socio-economic disadvantage in childhood than those of non-Maori identity. While those with a sole Maori identity experienced greater socio-economic disadvantage than those of Maori-other identity, these differences were not large and were for the most part statistically non-significant.
The findings revealing clear links between Maori cultural identification and family socio-economic circumstances in childhood raised the possibility that the higher rate of educational under-achievement amongst Maori was a consequence of disadvantaged socio-economic status rather than cultural identity. To test this hypothesis the differences between cultural identity groups were statistically adjusted for family socio-economic status in childhood. With one exception, these adjustments were sufficient to explain the links between educational achievement and cultural identity. The exception was attainment of a university degree with non-Maori having approximately twice the rate of degree attainment of individuals in either Maori identity group after adjustment for socio-economic factors. Furthermore, after adjustment for socio-economic factors, there was no evidence to suggest that variations in cultural identity played any detectable role in the educational achievement of those reporting Maori cultural identity.
Collectively, these findings suggest that the origins of educational underachievement for Maori enrolled in this birth cohort were, for the most part, explained by their exposure to family socio-economic disadvantage in childhood rather than by factors relating to cultural identity. The factors that placed young Maori at an educational disadvantage clearly overlapped and were similar to the factors that led to educational disadvantage amongst non-Maori. These findings pose a clear challenge to the prevailing view that the origins of Maori educational disadvantage rest with cultural processes that are specific to Maori. Rather, they suggest that the association between ethnicity and educational achievement found in this study was a special case of a more general trend for children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve less well in the context of the New Zealand education system. But it is important that the caveats and limitations that apply to this research are clearly stated.
The major limitation of this study is that the findings apply to a particular birth cohort born in a particular region of New Zealand in 1977. It would be premature and misleading to assume that the findings from this study would necessarily correspond to those obtained from more recent birth cohorts or from other New Zealand regions. It is possible that birth cohorts raised in other regions have been or continue to be exposed to a different set of circumstances, which could influence the links between cultural identity, socio-economic status and educational achievement reported here. For example, it is acknowledged that New Zealand's market reforms in the 1980s, involving the deregulation of the labour market, had different impacts on the economic viability and prosperity of different regions (Kelsey, 1995). Regarding this caveat, it is also plausible that there are regional variations relative to the degree to which individuals may be exposed to Maori cultural domains and revitalisation initiatives, such as Maori specific educational institutions. Either of these environmental factors could conceivably influence results procured from other cohort studies examining the theorised association between identity, economic status and educational achievement.
While these caveats should be kept in mind, the findings of the present study raise issues for consideration. In particular, while the dominant explanation of the educational underachievement of young Maori has focused increasingly on cultural factors, there is little direct evidence to show that these factors actually contribute to the educational disadvantage of young Maori. To a large extent, current investments into Maori-specific educational systems have been justified on the basis of conjecture and concerns about issues of social equity. For example, over the past 25 years a range of policy-led reforms have been implemented across New Zealand's education sector to deal with national aspirations to improve the learning experiences and academic performance of Maori. These reforms have created a parallel education system whereby Maori-specific initiatives such as kohanga reo, kura kaupapa, and whare wananga have been developed from pre-school through to the tertiary level to provide alternative education venues for Maori (Bishop & Glynn, 1999;G. H. Smith, 1992). By providing culturally immersive environments, these initiatives are widely regarded as being instrumental in enhancing the education prospects of Maori. Moreover, by increasing the number of domains where education is imparted through the medium of the Maori language, these alternative sites of education are also seen as an invaluable resource to facilitate Maori cultural revitalisation (G. H. Smith, 2000). Clearly, an important research priority therefore needs to involve examining the extent to which different educational models based on assumptions about cultural differences do in fact benefit Maori.
A further criticism of the study is that the measurement of cultural identity was limited and that a more comprehensive assessment may have produced different results. While such a criticism has merit, it is of interest to note that parallel papers from this cohort, which investigate issues of crime and mental health have shown that being of sole Maori identity was a protective factor that reduced risks of crime and mental-health problems (Marie et al., 2007, 2008). Against the background of that research, it is of interest to find that cultural factors did not appear to play a similar role in the educational achievement of Maori respondents of this cohort.
In summary, the findings from this study suggest that ethnic differences in the educational achievement of the CHDS cohort can largely be explained by socioeconomic factors rather than the ethnic identity of respondents. While it is advisable not to generalise these findings beyond the CHDS cohort, the results clearly highlight the need for more in-depth research into the origins of Maori educational disadvantage, including the role of social factors such as exposure to relative socio-economic deprivation. Such an approach will help to ensure that investments to ameliorate educational disadvantage in New Zealand are well founded in evidence.
This research was funded by grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the National Child Health Research Foundation, the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation and the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.
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University of Otago, Dunedin
David M. Fergusson
Joseph M. Boden
University of Otago, Christchurch
Dr Dannette Marie currently holds honorary affiliations with the School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen and the Department of Psychology, University of Otago.
Professor David M Fergusson is Executive Director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study in the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine. Email: email@example.com
Dr. Joseph M. Boden is a Senior Research Fellow with the Christchurch Health and Development Study, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine.
Table 1 Associations between cultural identification and educational achievement up to age 25 Maori Identity Measure Sole Maori Maori- (n = 50) other identity (n = 59) High school achievement (by age 21) Percentage with no high school 32.0 (a) 23.7 (a,b) qualifications Mean (SD) passes in School 1.98 (a) 2.49 (a) Certificate (1.86) (2.23) Percentage gaining Sixth Form 46.0a 64.4 (a,b) Certificate Percentage gaining Higher 24.0 (a) 32.2 (a) School Certificate Percentage gaining University 8.0 (a) 15.3 (a) Bursary University participation (by age 25) Percentage attending university 21.6 (a) 32.2 (a,b) Percentage gaining university degree 6.1 (a) 7.1 (a) Overall achievement (by age 25) Mean (SD) overall achievement 3.00 (a) 3.77 (a) score (1.96) (1.97) Measure Non-Maori p (1) (n = 875) High school achievement (by age 21) Percentage with no high school 16.0 (b) < .01 qualifications Mean (SD) passes in School 3.43 (b) < .0001 Certificate (2.25) Percentage gaining Sixth Form 71.4 (b) < .001 Certificate Percentage gaining Higher 46.1 (b) < .01 School Certificate Percentage gaining University 31.5 (b) < .001 Bursary University participation (by age 25) Percentage attending university 42.2 (b) < .01 Percentage gaining university degree 28.9 (b) < .0001 Overall achievement (by age 25) Mean (SD) overall achievement 4.37 (b) < .0001 score (2.24) < .0001 Note: Differing superscripts (a and b) indicate statistically significant (p < .05) pairwise differences (1) Wald chi-square for dichotomous outcomes; F-test for continuous outcomes Table 2 Associations between cultural identification and socio-economic factors in childhood Maori Identity Measure Sole Maori Maori- other identity Percentage whose mother lacked 72.0 (a) 61.0 (a) formal educational qualifications Percentage whose father lacked 67.4 (a) 60.0 (a) formal educational qualifications Mean (SD) family living standards 3.2 (a) 3.0 (b) ages 0-10 (2) (0.41) (0.44) Mean (SD) family socio-economic 4.5 (a) 4.1a status at birth (2) (1.31) (1.38) Measure Non-Maori p (1) Percentage whose mother lacked 46.4 (b) < .0001 formal educational qualifications Percentage whose father lacked 44.3 (b) < .0001 formal educational qualifications Mean (SD) family living standards 2.8 (c) < .0001 ages 0-10 (2) (0.45) Mean (SD) family socio-economic 3.5 (b) < .0001 status at birth (2) (1.41) Note: Differing superscripts (a, b and c) indicate statistically significant (p < .05) pairwise differences (1) Wald chi-square for dichotomous outcomes; F-test for continuous outcomes (2) Higher numbers correspond to increasing disadvantage Table 3: Associations between cultural identification and educational achievement up to age 25, after adjustment for socio-economic factors 1 Maori Identity Measure Sole Maori Maori- other identity High school achievement (by age 21) Adjusted percentage with no high 18.2 (a) 12.7 (a) school qualifications Adjusted mean passes in School 2.93 (a) 3.25 (a) Certificate Adjusted percentage gaining 66.8 (a) 76.9 (a) Sixth Form Certificate Adjusted percentage gaining 42.2 (a) 45.9 (a) Higher School Certificate Adjusted percentage gaining 20.4 (a) 24.9 (a) University Bursary University participation (by age 25) Adjusted percentage attending 41.6 (a) 43.3 (a) university Adjusted percentage gaining 16.8 (a,b) 12.8 (a) university degree Overall achievement (by age 25) Adjusted Mean overall achievement 4.05 (a) 4.38 (a) score Measure Non-Maori p (2) High school achievement (by age 21) Adjusted percentage with no high 16.5 (a) > .50 school qualifications Adjusted mean passes in School 3.41 (a) > .20 Certificate Adjusted percentage gaining 70.5 (a) > .30 Sixth Form Certificate Adjusted percentage gaining 45.7 (a) > .80 Higher School Certificate Adjusted percentage gaining 31.1 (a) > .30 University Bursary University participation (by age 25) Adjusted percentage attending 41.6 (a) > .80 university Adjusted percentage gaining 28.3 (b) < .05 university degree Overall achievement (by age 25) Adjusted Mean overall achievement 4.33 (a) > .60 score Note: Differing superscripts (a and b) indicate statistically significant (p < .05) pairwise differences (1) Covariate factors: maternal education, paternal education, family socio-economic status at birth, average family living standards ages 0-10 years (2) Wald chi-square for dichotomous outcomes; F-test for continuous outcomes