MAPAS de-mystified

Discussion in 'NZ General Discussion' started by AnswerMe, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. AnswerMe

    AnswerMe Member

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    I can't seem to find answers to my questions on any university website, so I'm hoping you guys can do so.

    I'm not sure how to put this without offending people but I'm just going to dive in... we live in a society where cultural taboos of the of the past no longer limit the decisions we make about the friends we make, the partners we choose and the careers we pursue...so essentially what I'm getting at is...with there being so many pacific and maori people 'forming relations' (i hope you know where i'm going with this) with non-mpi's, how do the committees that are responsible for choosing these individuals decide on how 'maori or pacific enough' you need to be to be able to admitted under theses schemes?

    I guess its easier to have a baseline to 'define' what it is meant to be maori but then there's still the grey area. How do you determine baselines of 'legitness' for pacific islanders, given the fact that there are about 24 island nations with different equivalents of the maori whakapapa, iwi etc ?

    Where do they draw the line to say that you are no longer considered to be maori or pacific? In a way isn't this discrimination too...

    Thoughts, comments, rants, etc ....?

    -Peace out

    AnswerMe
     
  2. denane

    denane Member

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    Fair enough question. I have been through the MAPAS interview process and met a number of people from different backgrounds. I believe that as long as you have some MPI ancestor in the mix, you are regarded eligible. The three people I got to know a little better than the others consisted of a half-PI who had very little knowledge of or connection to her PI parent or 'culture' for that matter, another who was half-Maori but the death of her Maori parent at a young age and a move to her other parent's homeland meant that this person knew nothing of Maoridom until moving back here to NZ to pursue their studies. The third person is a New Zealand born PI and doesn't speak their native tongue or practice anything cultural so to speak.

    They were treated the same as everybody else.There was another person I met who had grown up all his life in another country halfway across the world, had a Maori grandparent and decided to try MAPAS out and made the move to NZ.

    There is no set line/standard that I can see with which one's eligibility is marked, despite the fact that upon application, one must provide a family tree of both sides going back two or three generations. As long as the genealogy is confirmed by a reknowned Maori or Pacific leader, then it seems to be all good. There are no other requirements to 'prove' your 'legitness' as a M/PI throughout the interview process.

    I guess that by allowing all who have some M/PI ethnic connection to attempt the admission scheme, MAPAS tries to provide an opportunity for those who may not have had the opportunity to connect to their roots but still want to have that connection with the added benefit of pursuing higher learning. MAPAS essentially seek to provide the support that many Maori/PI do/may not get at home due to traditional practices, generational differences and barriers that stop M/PI from achieving their best in their academic endeavours. I think though, that MAPAS have definitely been more lenient in who they accept, probably to avoid accusations of discrimination, increase numbers and therefore likelihood of success, and to, most of all, acknowledge the M/PI connection that the applicant possesses. I think that MAPAS likes to take the opportunity to connect those with little/no knowledge back to their heritage, and hopefully igniting in them a passion for their people and their wellbeing.
    In saying that, this definitely opens up an avenue for those who want to take advantage of their ethnic connections - like the person with the Maori grandmother he didn't have a relationship with, that decided to move to NZ once he heard about MAPAS. Definitely huge room for improvement there!

    However, I think it would just be too hard to determine who is legit or not, because if there were some standard to be reached, I don't think people would have been very open about their lack of knowledge and/or connection to their Maori/Pacific roots. Besides, how would we determine what 'legit' is? Too many different backgrounds and situations to consider.

    To sum it all up, if it's in your blood - you're legit. Not the most perfect system.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  3. AnswerMe

    AnswerMe Member

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    I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. :) From the number of views this has had there have been lots of lurkers but not many contributors.

    So would you know if everyone who applies for MAPAS gets accepted? (were there several hundreds or thousands at your interview) Or is everyone who is considered M/PI accepted purely to increase their representation at University? I mean they can't possibly accommodate everyone, unless the funding they receive is much larger than what I expect. There has to be some degree of...let's say 'positive' discrimination when choosing their applicants. Surely the interview you attended is a means of determining how involved a person is in their culture and then can be used for selection, as opposed to admitting anyone who appears M/PI. Somehow seems to defeat the purpose of the scheme. Correct me if I'm wrong, but every time a MAPAS applicant with a lower GPA is chosen, doesn't this mean that an individual in the general scheme with a perhaps higher GPA misses a well deserved place in the course of his/her choice... how to they go about explaining that?

    I making a huge assumption here when concluding that some of these individuals (those who have very little involvement in their culture and are seeking an 'advantage') did apply for MAPAS because it would be easier get into the course of their choice. I guess MAPAS could then claim that the personal successes obtained by these individuals post-MAPAS has a little something to do with the role they played and could potentially be used to justify the presence of the scheme. However, you can't ignore the fact that the MAPAS scheme certainly creates a level of competition within the MAPAS specific degrees which adds to the value of these degrees themselves and makes them so attractive to the general public = more $$$$ for unis.

    I appreciate the need for a better represented health sector and the fact there are individuals who would struggle to obtain certain opportunities without schemes like this in place but surely there is a better way of going about this? From what I gather, there seems to be a decreasing number of these truly disadvantaged individuals , especially with the introduction of other schemes at the foundation levels of primary and secondary schooling that help them prepare for university study.

    Do other MAPAS applicants understand the flawed nature of this scheme and are they taking advantage of it whilst it lasts? (but would anyone openly admit to it :p)

    May I ask, why did you choose to apply for MAPAS?

    Come on other MAPAS people, denane can't be the only one on here, would love to know your thoughts too !

    -Chur
     
  4. frootloop

    frootloop Otago Trainee Intern (MBChB VI) Moderator

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    I agree with the above that MAPAS is a flawed system, and a lot could be done to improve it, but I think it's a little unfair to imply that those applying under it are 'taking advantage of it while it lasts'. You can't blame people for making use of a scheme they're entitled to use, no matter how flawed the scheme is.
    Heck, if I'd been able to apply under MAPAS, I most certainly would have, it would make no sense not to.
     
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  5. Sam

    Sam ¿umm?

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    For Otago med I think the only thing which matters is being *at least* 1/16th Maori/PI. As long as you can prove that then you're 'MAPAS'. Goodluck to you if you can prove it I say, the system does leave a lot to be desired however.
     
  6. Lego Man

    Lego Man Regular Member

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    Hey guys, I'm 3rd year Otago student applying for med next year. I'm also a Maori student who will most likely be applying under the subcat at Otago. I have recently been in contact with the Maori Health Workforce Development Unit in Dunedin, who as the name suggests function as the department aiming to bridge Maori students and the Health Sector. I have some understanding of the process at Auckland, and assume it's relatively similar to the process in Dunedin with the exception of the interview phase. I posted the following information in a subsection of the Graduate entry forum at the end of last year which you may not have read, but it may help answer some questions:

    I don't think there is a blood quantum thing involved. Which may or may not be flawed... But in my opinion the most important thing is to have a commitment to your culture and people and this *should* show in not only the way you apply but also the way that you carry yourself through medicine and beyond. This attitude was backed up by the development unit that I talked to.

    Also, not everyone who is entitled to apply under the system actually does. I was one of those students in first year - not because I did not feel I identified with the culture, but for other more complex reasons which I would rather not go into. It's a personal choice, but in doing so those who apply should realise the commitment that they are making :)

    I do agree with some points though - I presume that there are many who do genuinely exploit the system, and it is very unfortunate as I do not believe this was the system's intention...But there are many of us Maori students who are out here who genuinely have an interest in Maori health and our culture, and very much appreciate having these values recognised in some way.

    I hope this helps!! Let me know if there's anything else I can try to shed some light on...
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  7. AnswerMe

    AnswerMe Member

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    I don't dispute the fact that the system is flawed, but I should have been more specific when referring to those who were "taking advantage". I meant the people that denane mentioned at the beginning of her post.

    I have no problem with people using a scheme that they have every right to. However what erks me is the fact that there are some people who use the scheme because they can, and then just move on with there lives, without actually making a contribution to cultures/communities that helped them get to where they want to be. I'm a little sceptical about the individuals that denane mentioned actually taking an active role in passionately promoting culture specific awareness when they have done very little so far to actually learn more about where they come from etc Other than that, I can appreciate what denane says. :)

    @ legoman, thanks for that :) Yes I agree with what you're saying. MAPAS is more than just a scheme for people to use because they can, from what I gather, it is a vision by people who are passionate about there culture and care about the well-being of their people. So MAPAS is trying to decrease the massive gap there is in healthcare between non M/PI and M/PI. Just being M/PI is not enough. People should apply for MAPAS because they want to help their people people and not just help themselves.
     
  8. denane

    denane Member

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    No worries. I am happy to help with whatever I can. I have no idea of how many others got accepted. Keep in mind that there are many programmes with MAPAS spots, meaning that interviews are spread out over a number of days. I, myself did not exactly get accepted (another story in itself), and so I didn't get to see or hear again from the people I met to see if they were successful. The day I got interviewed, there were roughly 60 applicants. These interviews were being done over 4 days, so I am guessing there may have possibly been around 240 applicants interviewed.

    The interview process did not require anyone to demonstrate involvement in their culture or knowledge of, or anything like that. Imagine how awkward that would have been lol.
    I personally don't think MAPAS accepts applicants purely to increase representation. One of my relatives that applied did not get accepted and they don't know why. My relative's parents are both PI, though my relative actually looks down on PI's and doesn't like to admit she is one
    (so is taking advantage of the scheme). The application form invites applicants to share experiences/reasons (from what I can remember) that have brought them to the decision to pursue a career in health. My relative said that she had left it blank, as she knew her reasons would sound stupid and couldn't think of any good ones, and I guess that may have counted against her, but I can't be certain. Either that, or maybe they already had enough applicants to interview, who knows? I do think that they are after those who are serious about studying with them and who really do want to succeed.

    I personally know a couple of people that had also been interviewed the same time I did, and caught up with one of them last weekend. This person, let's call them Jamie, wanted admission into an undergraduate programme. Jamie have been travelling and getting a lot of experience specific to the profession Jamie wanted to study towards, having also completed an overseas pre-degree qualification in this chosen profession etc... Jamie was invited to do the Certificate in Health Sciences instead (because the qualification and Jamie's experience was not recognised as sufficient for success in the undergraduate programme Jamie wanted to pursue), and after refusing the offer, was given the suggestion of studying elsewhere. Jamie is half M/PI and very much involved in the M/PI community. I personally think that MAPAS are after a great success rate, and that's fair enough. I think that if MAPAS feel that there is a good chance that you will not succeed, you most likely will not make it in. Those are just my thoughts. I could be wrong. I say this though, because my own experience with MAPAS definitely left me with the impression that MAPAS definitely are after good stats. Who could blame them? After all, good stats keeps the scheme going, giving them time to improve along the way. That's not to say that they don't do a great job of assisting those that do get accepted, because I know they do. I know a few people that have successfully completed their degrees with MAPAS and only have good things to say.

    MAPAS is given an allocated number of seats in each year's intake anyway, so I guess that someone from the general scheme wouldn't be missing out anyway. I couldn't answer this for sure, as I have no idea how many of the MAPAS places are used, and if the leftovers -if any- are given to general admissions.

    I see where you are coming from. You are right. However, those from PI backgrounds have a lot of cultural pressures that they cannot escape at home, away from the nurturing environment of school/uni, that they fall behind with assignments etc...I was lucky enough to have parents who made sure that while we studied, everything was taken care of, and we were not expected to fulfill (too many) obligations if we had schoolwork to do. This only came about as a result of letters home from caring/concerned teachers etc (long story). Others are not so lucky. One of my friends in high school was expected to go straight home, look after her younger siblings, clean, cook dinner in time for her parents to get home from work, attend church related meetings/practices, and entertain guests until the early hours of the morning many nights. Her parents simply did not understand that schoolwork extends out of school hours, and she faced some bad consequences if she slacked off her duties at home. While this case is extreme, many PI's are going through these kinds of things, simply because their parents really do not realise how much work they need to do. MAPAS works with both students and parents to help them both understand the demands that come with schoolwork, and to discuss and work together on goals to help the student to achieve the best they can.

    MAPAS have a vision, it's called the 20:20 Vision, where they hope that by the year 2020, 20% of the NZ Health workforce will be of M/PI descent, or something like that. I don't know if this means that they will stop at 2020?

    Yep, people like my relative mentioned above lol. A few admitted on the interview day as well although I doubt they did so to the actual interviewers.

    Sure, why not? I applied because I wanted to apply for Medicine in the long-run, and wanted to have the support and understanding that MAPAS provided because I know it wont be easy. I have a young family and wanted to make use of all the support I could get. I also did want to increase my chances of getting into the programme I was after. After my experience with them, I don't know if I will go through them again for Med-entry, although I would be crazy not to take advantage of a scheme that could eliminate a lot of competition and anxiety for me. I don't really know if I want to apply through them again, but I guess I'll just wait and see.

    Sorry for the long response, there are just so many examples to share to help you understand what I'm rambling on about! Hope that this helps you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  9. AnswerMe

    AnswerMe Member

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    Hey denane, no worries.

    Thanks for providing some insight (thanks to @ Lego Man as well ;) ) on the MAPAS topic. Keep us posted on how your study goes this year and all the very best for the future !

    -Cheers

    AnswerMe
     
  10. Cantab

    Cantab New Member

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    Kia ora AnswerME,

    Thanks for posting this thread as there is a lot of mis-information out there in regards to MAPAS, what it stands for and its entry requirements etc. I am studying through the MAPAS scheme (not med though) so can discuss my experiences and observations with you.

    Firstly, in regards to getting in to MAPAS, not everyone is accepted. Far from it, that goes for Med and all the other degrees. When I attended interviews I was applying for a foundation course which MAPAS runs. They had quite a few days of interviews and a lot of the people I was applying with did not get in. Considering there was a week of interviews and at least 50 people with me, I would put the number at 200 – 400 applying for this course alone. Of that, only around 60 were selected. The calibre of the students I met on that course in terms of intellect and maturity was very high. The same goes for medical entry. There are a dedicated number of places available for MAPAS students, as there is for another admission scheme the University runs: ROMPE (Regional Rural Admission Scheme). As per usual there are more people applying for the limited number of places. Despite this, MAPAS has never filled its “quota”. Therefore those places that it did not fill get allocated to the General entry. This is because they are after quality, not quantity. They are quite upfront in regards to this and do an extremely good job in providing career advice and support to Maori and Pacific students, even those who do not make it into MAPAS.

    One does not have to be fully immersed in their culture for MAPAS to put them forward. I certainly wasn’t. The good thing about MAPAS is that it recognises the range of diversity within Maori and Pacific cultures. There is a huge range in the experiences and involvement in “traditional culture” in our people, for example between Urban and Rural Maori just like Pacific born and Kiwi born Pacific Islanders. Therefore one does not have to speak the language or be currently “active” in their culture. MAPAS helps its students by giving them exposure to the massive inequalities in health for Maori and Pasifika, traditional culture, a look into the diversity present, and helps them to shape their own cultural identity. Afterall, there is a big diversity in the high risk populations of Maori and Pasifika presenting themselves in the health system.

    To be honest I do not believe MAPAS is a flawed program or unfair. It is an excellent way of “levelling the playing field” or “bridging the gap” in the health system to increase Maori and Pacific representation. In an ideal New Zealand MAPAS would not be needed but we are still a far away from a country where everyone gets a fair shot at things. Maori and Pacific still have health needs which are significantly worse than most other population groups. Yes a number of people do apply because they think it will be easier. But that is not the sole reason for many and I do not think it is as easy as it is made out. A significant amount of the students I have met through MAPAS from Med achieved very high grades, many being in the top of their classes. I am sure there are those who may not have achieved extremely high grades but nonetheless got in and will make excellent doctors and role models. As you know the only reason for such a high cut off is because of limited places. Often what gets overlooked when discussing MAPAS in relation to Med is the fact that the students applying have two selection interviews; the general one and a MAPAS one. They have to pass both! I have heard of numerous cases where applicants despite doing well in the general unfortunately haven’t passed the MAPAS one. Having not applied for med I cannot comment on exactly what is discussed in the MAPAS interview or what type of questions they ask. But I can say the main thing MAPAS is looking for is a commitment to and a more empathetic understanding of our people, not whether you look or act Maori enough. MAPAS students are also expected to give back to the program, for example mentoring younger students, running tutorials etc. Well after their studies have been completed many MAPAS alumni come back to the University and help in mentoring too. I believe that the second interview and commitment required generally weeds out those trying to apply through MAPAS without wanting to give anything back.

    What it boils down to is whether MAPAS an effective tool for what is needed? It’s like the Police and their affirmative campaign to hire more Asian cops to better reflect and represent the communities they serve. The Police faced significant barriers in communicating, relating with, and gaining the trust of Asians, with a lot of crime going unreported. They had to do something. In health it’s the same for Maori and Pacific peoples, they face barriers and the health system faces barriers in helping them.Even in the education system Maori and Pacific students still face a number of barriers, for example many are being discouraged from taking up sciences/maths subjects they would put them in good stead for Med and are being placed into arts/sports or subjects that don’t attain NCEA credits/UE. (Ref: Struggling students pushed to take soft subjects | Stuff.co.nz). MAPAS also tackles this issue head on by offering a course which helps such students with potential get their sciences polished up to University standard.

    I myself applied because I wanted all the pastoral/academic support I could get while going through University. Also I wanted to reconnect with my roots and Maori culture as I had been disengaged from it after moving up to Auckland to work years ago. As I said earlier, MAPAS not only helps students with their academic journey and career planning but also their cultural journey! The other appealing factor was people had told me that students in MAPAS were more supportive and helpful to one another than some other students in OLY1, as we had all heard horror stories about how competitive some people were! As Denane said, often one of the barriers Maori and PI students face is the commitments and expectations of their families and MAPAS understands this and helps students deal with this. It really is like a big family where younger or less experienced students can get help and inspiration from those who have gone through the same experience. For those of us who have gone through and been apart of MAPAS there is more to the programme than just joining up to try and get into med easier.

    The main point I wish to convey is that despite it always having more interviews than places, MAPAS has never filled its quota. Because it is focused on quality, not quantity. While the number of Maori and Pacific students in Med have increased they are nowhere near the amount required and sought for the 20:20 vision from which MAPAS receives its funding. “Currently 3% of doctors ID as Maori and 1.8% as Pacific compared with population percentages of 15% and 7%” (Poole et al., 2009 - http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/122-1306/3884/content.pdf).

    Apologies for such a long winded response! (Feels like I've written an essay)
     
  11. denane

    denane Member

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    Tanks Cantab for sharing your thoughts. As a current MAPAS student, your experience and knowledge is valuable and certainly gives us something to think about.
     
  12. AnswerMe

    AnswerMe Member

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    [MENTION=15401]Cantab[/MENTION]

    Fair points made. I agree that there are blatant inequalities that exist in our society and we need to do something about it. I just don't think that positive discrimination is the way we need to go about "levelling the playing field".

    From what I gather, individuals who do get chosen are given academic and pastoral support to do well in their programmes, so does "quality" of the applicant really matter after all, considering the fact that if they do struggle they get help anyway. This makes no sense to me.

    If you want a higher proportion of M/PI at University doing these degrees entering via a scheme like MAPAS, it would make more sense then, to admit them all in at the beginning. and give everyone an equal opportunity to have a go at the course of their choice. Hardwork and determination on the individuals part as well as the pastoral support that they are given will see that some individuals do great, but of course there are some who don't get in even with this help for other reasons of their own. So is there a need to have a lower GPA given the help provided? How do the applicants feel about what this suggests about them? Do get what I mean?

    You start off with a good number of applicants, then you cut this number down for the sake of "quality", as the year progresses this number will decrease ( people not doing so well in tests. failing etc = this is common to any course and its students) at the end of the year a smaller number will apply than at the beginning of the year, after the interview process there might be even less = small number admitted into med, and then you have to take into account that there are some people who don't even make it to the end of their study once their into med because they have to make the same grades as those who were admitted in the general scheme and for some, this will be a challenge = the proportion decreases further...can you see how these percentages arise? There are so many contributing factors that MAPAS doesn't consider.

    If we are going to have a scheme like this in the first place, why be so selective about entry, isn't representation the key? Anyway, you get taught to and learn to cope with the workload, so even if some subject are not /were not your forte in school there is no reason why this should stop you from doing well at Uni. NCEA is a dodgy system anyway, you could potentially do terrible whilst at school but excel at Uni given the fact that you are learning relevant things that can be applied to life. With regard to med-"quality" will be determined at the interview by the selection panel, and I should think that it would be quite hard to look for this at the beginning of the year in school leavers, unless of course most of the people chosen are mature/older students?

    MAPAS system is flawed there is no denying that fact. Perhaps having some input from people that applied for MAPAS but didn't get in, and having their experiences and stories shared would give us a more holistic view of the MAPAS system.

    Hope everything's going well with your course :)

    -Chur
     
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  13. chrisi

    chrisi Member

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    Hi my name is Chrisi
    I was wondering as to why i do not have my results as yet. I have applied for medicine first year. Interviews started today 22/11/16 for all students that successfully made it. I guess i missed out. I have lost hope.
    I did BIOMED but only got my BIO mark back. The result is B. I did not receive any other results. It just says pending. Very weird indeed. But I am under the MAPAS category so i do not know what is going on ??????
    My application of submission for the med entry interview still says pending. I did not receive rejected or declined. That is strange. I have lost hope and i do believe that the med department send decline posts in batches. Maybe that is why i do not have a reply back as others do at present.

    May i also say the same as Robbieg93 BEST OF LUCK in your interviews. GOD BLESS MAPAS students ! Stay focused !!
    Wish i was there but hey that is life. sob sob sob.......
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016

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