Support for students and staff from refugee backgrounds

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...

Support available at the University

The Equity Policy highlights the University’s commitment to being safe, inclusive and equitable.

The University has zero tolerance for discrimination, including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism.

We offer a range of initiatives aimed at providing support for students and staff from refugee backgrounds.

University club

AUSA is teaming up with students from refugee backgrounds to establish a University club for students from refugee backgrounds to share their experiences, create a supportive community and help advise the Equity Office on the needs of students from refugee backgrounds.

To join, email

The Students from Refugee Backgrounds club was founded by Nosia Fogogo. Read about Nosia's journey from Burundi to the University of Auckland.

For more information about how the University supports our students and staff from refugee backgrounds email Terry O'Neill, Director – Student Equity:

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.