AUT helps Maori and Pasifika students with computers and internet

Photo: RNZ

A tertiary provider has helped Māori and Pasifika students access computer equipment and broadband to learn from home during Covid-19.

Auckland University of Technology conducted a survey which indicated six percent of its students didn’t have a laptop, tablet or PC at home they could use for study.

Seventeen percent of students didn’t have broadband at home.

Assistant Vice-Chancellor Pacific Advancement Walter Fraser said the impact of the pandemic is being disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and in New Zealand that’s the Māori and Pacific communities, especially in South Auckland.

Mr Fraser said AUT has been measuring poverty among students and found 20 percent of students live in neighbourhoods that score 9 or 10 in the deprivation index.

“One of the more defining features of poverty across New Zealand is lack of access to Internet at home, so we know that from that data we would expect that at least 1 in every 5 of our students will need access to Internet at home apart from a whole lot of challenges.”

“And of course you know Māori and in particular Pasifika students who study at AUT are way over-represented in those numbers,” he said.

Last week AUT started distributing up to 1,500 laptops and purchased up to 4,000 connectivity packages for students.

Source: RNZ