There are many known factors that can help or hinder Indigenous students undertaking tertiary study, but little is known about how Māori students experience Māori studies courses specifically. Against the backdrop of low Māori student retention in universities and the short history of Māori studies as a field of study, this article shares findings from a thematic analysis of interviews with Māori students in Māori studies. It proposes a framework, Te Ara Mātauranga, which organises new findings about Māori cultural enclaves, aspirations, engagement, learning opportunities, and support. Ultimately, this article distinguishes the experiences of Māori students in Māori studies from previous generic research about Māori students in tertiary education and identifies a set of consequential challenges and opportunities.


He mihi nui ki ngā kaimahi katoa o tēnei kaupapa. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this project. In particular, special thanks to principal researcher, Dr Ewan Pohe, and research assistant, Richard Bradley.

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