An Otago University Professor of Maori Studies is highly critical of announcements in the Budget for tertiary education.
Professor Paul Tapsell says there's little to give Maori secondary school students the incentive to take up a university education, apart from extra funding for engineering courses and research.
He says publicity this week about the geotechnical possibilities in the Far North may attract some students to doing engineering degrees with the long term hope of getting a job in the mineral exploration industry.
But Professor Tapsell says increasing student loan repayments and removing allowances for post graduate study could deny young Maori the chance of a university education because of their social or economic circumstances.
He says Maori are a unique point of difference to New Zealand's national good.