Majority of students Nth Islanders, women

Photo: ODT
Photo: ODT

A slight majority of domestic students at the University of Otago last year were North Islanders, most were women  and sciences courses were the most popular to study, statistics from the 2018 student population reveal.

Demographics showed more than half of the 18,018  domestic students enrolled at the university were from the North Island, at 51% compared with 47%. The remaining 2% of students who counted as "domestic" were from overseas.

Separate statistics on the Maori student population showed most were from either Auckland or Wellington, with others  from the Bay of Plenty, Dunedin, and Southland.

More than 14,000 total students — including full-time and part-time students — described themselves as New Zealand European/Pakeha, 2092 identified as Maori, 908 were Pasifika and 2788 were Asian.

Students could enrol in multiple programmes and the university noted they could also identify with up to three different ethnicities.

Commerce students comprised a total of 14% of the student population,  health sciences students totalled 25% of all students and 24% of students studied humanities.

Sciences students comprised more than one-third of all students at 34%, and were the largest group in the university.

Students studying "interdivisional" subjects, including working on PhDs, made up 9% of the total student population.

Women outnumbered men  60% to 40% in total, which was consistent with  figures dating back to 2012 showing  the entire university population was generally about 58% female.

When it came to which subjects students from different ethnicities groups studied, the proportion of Pakeha and Maori students enrolled in each division was about the same, sciences and the humanities proving to be the most popular subjects. However, students who identified as Asian were nearly twice as likely to study health sciences subjects, slightly more likely to study sciences and less likely to study either commerce or the humanities.

Pasifika students were slightly more likely to study health sciences and  sciences and to enrol in the university’s Foundation Year course. 

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