I’m not a fan of quotas but I’m relatively relaxed about having them for medical schools to ensure we do have a medical profession that can relate to their communities. However I always assumed that those quota places were around 10% of the total. In fact, it seems the quota places now make up the majority!
For this year’s intake, Otago had 202 places available for first year students entering from its intermediate year. (Otago does not take first year students from other universities).
Of those, 120 were given to those entering under a raft of categories.
Of those, 58 were Māori, 20 were Pasifika, 1 Māori/Pasifika and 29 entered through the rural gate. Eleven students went in under the low socio-economic category and one under a new refugee category. That left only 82 general entry places (40 per cent).
So 60% of places go to those on quota schemes and only 40% to general entry. That seems massively out of whack.
Looking at percentages for the 2020 intake, Māori and Pasifika students took up nearly 40 per cent of the places at Otago for first year health science students and 28.1 per cent of the total places for first year students at Auckland.
Which means you can get an A+ average and still not get admitted, because you’re the wrong ethnicity.
You need to average 95% in your exams if you’re European or Asian but can get in on 70% average if you’re Maori or Pasifika.
Now it is important to point out this is only about entry. Once you’re in, all students have to meet the same levels of competence to graduate. So this isn’t about quality of doctors. It is about whether it is fair someone with a 93% grade average should miss out just because they are the wrong ethnicity.