The University of Otago’s Tū Kahika program supports young Māori students interested in a career in health through the University of Otago’s Foundation Year (pre-undergraduate) Health Sciences course. The program is targeted at Māori secondary school students and provides funded places for up to 25 students who have completed their Year 13 of study. The program was launched mid 2009 with the aim of increasing Māori student recruitment, retention and achievement in health sciences to increase the Māori health workforce in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Tū Kahika provides students the opportunity to build their knowledge of the core sciences in a tertiary setting, become familiar with life on campus and adjust to the requirements of university study by providing students with wrap-around academic, cultural, pastoral and financial support (both on and off the campus) throughout the duration of their studies.
Tū Kahika is overseen by the Māori Health Workforce Development Unit (MHWDU), which sits within the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Otago. MHWDU staff work collaboratively with key internal staff across the University (Foundation Studies, Te Huka Mātauraka (Māori Centre), Residential College Wardens, Office of Māori Development, Accommodation Office and School’s Liaison) all of whom are integral in ensuring the successful delivery of Tū Kahika and wrap-around support for Tū Kahika students.