Responding to the need for top-level business expertise and leadership within the burgeoning Māori economy six universities, including Otago, have joined forces to offer a new, part-time online Master of Māori and Indigenous Business in 2018.
The Otago Business School has joined forces with the business schools of five of New Zealand’s other universities to offer a new, part-time online Master of Māori and Indigenous Business degree.
The programme, which will be available from next year, has been several years in the planning and arose out of a 2012 Māori Economic Development Task Force report that identified business education as the main driver for Māori economic growth.
The report identified the need for top-level business expertise and leadership within the burgeoning Māori economy.
"By drawing on strengths from each partner, the programme offered is stronger than any one of the partners could provide on their own."
The six universities worked with Māori thought-leaders to conceive this advanced business qualification for leaders and managers in the Māori and Indigenous economies, consulting widely with businesses and iwi in designing the programme.
Otago Business School’s Associate Professor Kate Wynn-Williams says that while there was agreement that this sort of programme was needed, no one university had the capability or wish to provide it in its entirety.
So – working together – the universities have come up with New Zealand’s first truly collaborative degree programme, with an equal sharing of teaching responsibilities, equal fees for all students and revenue sharing between the universities depending on teaching effort.
Associate Professor Wynn-Williams explains how it will work: “Each student picks which of the six partners to enrol with, and they then become a student of that university. The whole programme involves 16 papers (4 each year), though not all students need all 16. The requirements depend on what the entry-level qualifications are. The papers are all online, all using the one learning management system (Canvas - similar to Otago’s Blackboard) from Auckland, with each paper being taught by a different partner.
“Each university is responsible for providing two or three of the 16 papers. We have three, so when any one of our papers is being offered, students from any of the partner universities who need that paper will be enrolled, no matter where they are in the country. By drawing on strengths from each partner, the programme offered is stronger than any one of the partners could provide on their own,” she says.
She has been involved in the development of the programme, and says she has been really impressed with the level of collegiality shown.
"The growing Māori economy needs skilled graduates who can stimulate local, national and international growth."
“It has been a true team effort, with so many people working together. We have all worked together in a completely non-competitive manner to produce something great. Hopefully the model will work for others too.”
Otago Business School Associate Dean Māori Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl says the online programme will give students insight into business theory and practice appropriate for Māori and Indigenous contexts.
“Most of the teaching staff will be Māori and along with their cohort, students will be expected to acknowledge the legitimacy of Te Ao Māori, build relationships through whakawhanaungatanga, foster relationships that are centred on ako where staff and students are considered equal and foster caring relationships that are centered on manaakitanga.”
She hopes the new programme will have an immense impact on the growing Māori economy – which is now worth over $42 billion and growing faster than the wider New Zealand economy.
“The growing Māori economy needs skilled graduates who can stimulate local, national and international growth. Through this programme, students will gain advanced skills, knowledge and understanding of the practice and theory of Māori and Indigenous business, organisations and communities. The programme is underpinned by cultural values that emphasise ethical and sustainable business practice.”
The other business schools involved in the programme are from the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato.
The programme starts April 2018 and is now open for applications. Please visit www.maibus.ac.nz
Pōwhiritia te ako ki a koutou – Let the learning come to you!