Today I wrote to each New Zealand university and polytechnic to determine their commitment to an inclusive education.

There is a reason the University of Auckland’s segregated study spaces have provoked such a strong reaction from New Zealanders. The signage reminds us of darker days when different races were segregated at swimming baths and barber shops.

Modern values of inclusivity celebrate the mixing of people from different backgrounds, and we should recognise how this is crucial to closing academic and economic disparities.

For what it’s worth, I am seriously disturbed by the suggestion that in order to be safe, Māori students need to isolate from non-Māori. And I worry about the perception of international students who arrived here expecting to study in an inclusive, egalitarian environment.

Dr Parmar has written to each of the institutions below, asking for a list of safe spaces, the rationale for such spaces, and whether signage or other policies are changing as a result of recent public concern.

  • Victoria University
  • University of Waikato
  • Massey University
  • University of Canterbury
  • Lincoln University
  • University of Otago
  • University of Auckland
  • Auckland University of Technology
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury
  • Eastern Institute of Technology
  • Wellington Institute of Technology
  • Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
  • Manukau Institute of Technology (Media contact)
  • Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
  • Otago Polytechnic
  • Whitireia Community Polytechnic | Weltec
  • Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki
  • Waikato Institute of Technology
  • The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
  • Tai Poutini Polytechnic
  • Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
  • Te Pukenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
  • Southern Institute of Technology
  • Northtec

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