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Holding a mirror to society? Progression towards achieving better sociodemographic representation among the University of Otago's health professional students.

Authors
  • Crampton, Peter1
  • Weaver, Naomi2
  • Howard, Andrea3
  • 1 Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin.
  • 2 Senior Analyst, Institutional Service Performance, University of Otago, Dunedin.
  • 3 Director, Policy and Programmes, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin.
Type
Published Article
Journal
The New Zealand medical journal
Publication Date
Jun 08, 2018
Volume
131
Issue
1476
Pages
59–69
Identifiers
PMID: 29879727
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

1) To describe the sociodemographic characteristics of students accepted into eight health professional programmes at the University of Otago in 2016. 2) To provide an update on an earlier (2012) paper to illustrate progress towards increasing diversity within the health professional student cohort. Student data were obtained from the University of Otago's central student records system. Data were obtained in anonymous, summary form. New Zealand population data were obtained from Statistics New Zealand. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Between 2010 and 2016 there was: a marked increase in the proportion of Māori (124% increase) and Pacific students (121% increase) in health professional programmes, more pronounced in medicine and dentistry (increases of 179% and 133% respectively); an increase in the proportion of students from rural areas from 19.2% to 22.5%; an increase in the proportion of female students from 59.6% to 61.3%; and little overall change in the overall socioeconomic profile. Between 2010 and 2016 there was an overall increase in diversity in the health professional student body, with strong growth in Māori, Pacific and rural students. The recent introduction of new affirmative categories will hopefully result in an increase in socioeconomic diversity and in the number of refugee students.

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