Support for students and staff from refugee backgrounds

Top Tips to Make University Life Easier for Students from a Refugee Background

If you have any questions or concerns, please do email Terry O'Neill in the Equity Office:


Faculty Contacts for Students from Refugee Backgrounds

If you are a student from a refugee background and would like to discuss how the University can support you with your faculty, please get in touch with the relevant faculty contacts below.
Arts: Chip Matthews 
Business and Economics: Olivia Flack 
Creative Arts and Industries Chris Rollins, Tera Hanson
• Education and Social Work Nicoletta Rata-Skudder, Jennifer Bedford
Engineering: Alcione Fagundes
Law: Anna Hood
Medical and Health Science: Daniel Heke
Science: Erica Farrelly 

Enhanced systems enable University to collect information about LGBTI and refugee-background students and staff

As part of the University’s commitment to members of our community who are Māori and/or from equity groups, our systems have been enhanced, to allow us to gather information on students and staff who identify as:

  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)
  • refugee-background

This will greatly increase our capability to support staff and students from all of the University’s equity groups. Read more...

NZ Red Cross Award

New Zealand Red Cross – Rīpeka Whero Aotearoa has recognised the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika for its work supporting students from refugee backgrounds. The award was presented for “going above and beyond in their support of Pathways To Employment (P2E) clients starting full-time study at the University of Auckland”.

Read more here

Alternative pathways to the University of Auckland

Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes (UTAS)

UTAS is the University’s Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes for eligible Māori and applicants from some equity groups.
Find out more about Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes (UTAS)

Tertiary Foundation Certificate Programme

If you lack the grades to gain admission or want to return to study, your successful completion of our programme will enable you to apply for university.
Find out more about the Tertiary Foundation Certificate Programme

Foundation Certificate Education

This is a specialist foundation programme to help bridge you into tertiary study at the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Successful completion of this certificate allows admission into the University of Auckland for Faculty of Education and Social Work programmes (provided all other additional requirements are met).
Find out more about Foundation Certificate Education

New Start

The New Start programme is the University of Auckland's only part-time academic preparation course. It provides University bridging for anyone aged 20 years or over who needs to gain skills and confidence to undertake university study.
Find out more about New Start

External organisations

Useful links:

An equitable education – a ChangeMakers Refugee Forum campaign to have refugee-background students recognised as an equity group in government policy and at universities and polytechnics.

Refugee Youth Action Network (RYAN) is an initiative by Refugees as Survivors New Zealand to help young refugees with training, career planning and job placement. Arif Saeid, manager of Refugees as Survivors New Zealand, said finding employment was "most critical" for settlement.

Refugee rubs shoulders with world leaders - University of Auckland student and aspiring human rights lawyer Rez Gardi meets Helen Clark in Copenhagen.

The University of Auckland’s Equity Policy includes students and staff from refugee backgrounds as an equity group.