8. Equal Opportunities Report

The University of Waikato has an ongoing commitment to equal opportunities in education and employment. This is reflected in the diversity of its students and staff.

A wide range of University-wide and Faculty-specific services are provided to facilitate equality of access for students and their academic success. Support is available to all students, with additional support tailored to groups to meet their specific needs.

Staff profile

In 2010, more than half the total staff of 1,430 (full-time equivalent, excluding casuals and sessional assistants) at the University of Waikato were women (59%). Women comprised 47.3% of the academic staff and 67.7% of the general staff. The highest percentages of female staff were in the Communications and External Relations Division (90%), Faculty of Law (89%), Student and Academic Services Division (86%), Faculty of Education (85%), Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (82%), Human Resources Management (81%).The lowest percentages of female staff continued to be in the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (23%), Facilities Management Division (31%), Information Technology Services Division (36%), and Faculty of Science and Engineering (36%).

Almost three-quarters of the total staff at the University of Waikato were European/Pakeha (75%) and 10% Māori. A total of 24% of Māori staff and 40.9% of women held senior positions within the University. Senior positions are identified as academic appointments at senior lecturer and above, and general staff appointments at level 6 and above. Waikato increased its proportion of female professors since the last census by 6.11% to 25%, and female associate professors by 6.80% to 32.89%, which is the highest proportion of female professors and associate professors across all the universities.

4.9% of University staff had declared disabilities. These included: vision difficulties, mobility problems, diabetes, breathing problems, hearing difficulties, epilepsy, medical and other disabilities.

The University of Waikato prides itself on the diversity of its existing Equal Opportunity programmes and, in 2010, continued to support several programmes and initiatives for staff. These included

  • strategies such as family-friendly environments, flexible hours and work-from-home options, considered on a case-by-case basis by managers
  • support for staff to undertake further studies to enhance their career paths and contribution to the University
  • availability of an Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) liaison representative in each School/Faculty and Division to assist senior management in the planning and reporting of EEO initiatives
  • the Women in Leadership Day took place on 2 September 2010 entitled “ FindingYour Voice: Career Management for Women”
  • development of the Waikato Women’s Caucus to look at ways to increase awareness around issues for women working in universities, particularly Waikato, and to explore strategies to increase the representation of women in leadership and senior management roles
  • strong commitment to the NZVCC-supported New Zealand Women in Leadership Programme. This meant that two academic and two general staff members were able to attend.

Student profile

The total student population at the University of Waikato in 2010 was 12,642, of whom 43% (5,401) were male and 57% (7,241) female.

The ethnic composition of the student population comprised: European/Pakeha 46% (5,841), Māori 18% (2,300), Chinese 10% (1,301), Pacific Islands 4% (470), Indian 3% (416), and "other" ethnic groups 18% (2,314). This compares with 2009 where 46% (6,061) were European/Pakeha, 19% (2,451) were Māori, 11% (1,383) were Chinese, 4% (525) were of Pacific Island ethnicity, 3% (402) were Indian, and 17% (2,267) were of other ethnicities.

Students under 20 years of age comprised 22% of the total population. Students aged between 20 and 24 years comprised 40%, and students aged 25 years or over (those who may be entitled to a government-funded living allowance) comprised 38%.

692 students had declared disabilities. Of these students, 198 accessed Disability Support Services in 2010.

The University of Waikato prides itself on the diversity of its existing Equal Opportunity programmes and, in 2010, continued to support several programmes and initiatives for students. These included

  • continued support of Māori and Pacific Island students with Te Tohu Paetahi Entrance Scholarships, the Te Tohu Paetahi Retention Scholarship, the Māori Excellence Awards and the TAPA (Tertiary Achievement in Pacific Ako) Awards
  • continued extensive support services to students with disabilities, including a regular survey of students with disabilities to monitor their satisfaction with Disability Support Services
  • support of University staff in responding appropriately to the needs of students with disabilities through a variety of mechanisms including the online Disability Awareness training package
  • the award of three scholarships of $5,000 to students with physical disabilities
  • the award of two scholarships of $1,000 to sole parents.

The University also provided a wide variety of support for students living in the Halls of Residence, including the award of 29 Bryant Hardship Scholarships in 2010 totalling approximately $98k to students who would not otherwise have been able to attend University due to their or their families' financial circumstances. (The scholarships cover up to 100% of the total cost of accommodation in the Halls of Residence.)

The Halls accommodated a significant number of students with a wide range of disabilities. A successful model was introduced for providing support and pastoral care, involving an across-services team of staff who worked with, supported, and interacted with affected students.

The Halls of Residence also

  • operated kaupapa floors to provide personal, social and academic assistance for students wanting to encompass traditional Māori values and support systems, as well as fostering fluency in Te Reo Māori
  • offered women and men-only floors, flats and cottages for Muslim and other students who preferred to live in a single sex area
  • appointed a Pacific Island student to one of the Senior Residential Assistant positions with specific responsibility for students from the Pacific Islands
  • offered a specific academic study skills programme for Chinese students.


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