SciBoost: A Collaborative Approach to Enhancing Māori and Pacific Achievement in Science and Engineering

Dawn Marsh, Kevin Eastwood


The SciBoost programme was developed with the intention of improving the retention and achievement of Māori and Pacific students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSEN). It was offered at the University of Waikato from 2013-2016 and consisted of a series of themed academic skills development workshops taught over a two-day period. SciBoost provides an example of successful collaboration between the Māori mentor co-ordinator for FSEN, learning advisors, and science and Māori liaison subject librarians. Its iterative development illustrates the benefits of embedding effective study strategies within a disciplinary context, while embracing a relational approach to teaching and learning that highlights the value of student feedback and reflective practice for improving the experiences of current and future students. However, the demise of the SciBoost programme exemplifies the vulnerability of initiatives that are dependent on relationships between key members of staff, and which are not adequately promoted or endorsed by lecturers and tutors within programmes of study, or structurally embedded into broader faculty and institutional objectives. 


Science; Maori learners; Pacific learners; retention

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