MĀOR110 Enrolments Up 52%, While Health Sci Numbers Fall

MĀOR110 Enrolments Up 52%, While Health Sci Numbers Fall

Freshers finally realise Health Sci isn’t the way to happiness

The Strategy, Analytics and Reporting office (SAR) at Otago Uni have released this year’s enrolment growth statistics, revealing the fastest-growing and fastest-shrinking first-year papers in the 2021-22 period.

The paper with the biggest percentage increase in enrolment was EAOS111, “Earth And Ocean Science”, which grew by a staggering 73%. The fastest-growing paper this year by raw enrolments was MĀOR110, or “Introduction to Conversational Māori”, with numbers jumping 292 from 2021, or 52%. The fastest-shrinking paper was, interestingly, also a Māori paper: MĀOR102, or “Māori Society”, whose cohort shrank by 340 (29%) compared to last year.

The high growth for MĀOR110 this year could be attributed to high-profile efforts over the last few years to more widely promote the regular use of te reo Māori among more of the population. According to Statistics New Zealand, te reo proficiency across Aotearoa grew 1.8% between 2018 and 2021. This combines with the fact that, from 2022, MĀOR110 began to be included in the HSFY curriculum as an optional eighth paper, making it more accessible than ever for a significant number of first years. 

SPEX102 “Principles Of Exercise For Health And Performance” put in a solid result for the PE School, growing by 59 students to place as the 5th fastest-growing paper in 2022. Former SPEX102 student Laura believes that this paper is growing in popularity among students due to a variety of appealing factors: “Sport is a growing sector, with a lot more jobs available… the PE school restructured in 2019 to provide three different types of degrees, and it recently became an optional Health Sci paper.”

The bottom five performing papers were dominated by science papers, with compulsory papers in the Health Sci First Year (HSFY) meat-grinder programme being particularly hard hit. BIOC192 “Foundations of Biochemistry”, the second-fastest declining paper, shed almost 200 students, with numbers shrinking by 13%. Despite being the biggest first-year paper at Otago Uni, with almost 2,000 students enrolled, CHEM191 “Introduction to Chemistry” still dropped 150 students. Enrolment numbers for HUBS192 “Human Body Systems 2” and PHSI191 “Biological Physics,” meanwhile, fell by 94 and 85 people respectively – a drop of around 6%. Danielle, a 2021 student enrolled in CHEM192, HUBS192 and PHSI191 as part of the Health Sciences course, believed that online learning and lockdowns may have affected students' interest in taking on the high-pressure HSFY papers. She told Critic Te Arohi that “These courses are dense in learning and can be really difficult without a lot of past learning in those topics.”

Of course, signing up for a paper is the easy part – whether all these freshers end up discovering a newfound passion for earth and ocean science or human nutrition is another matter altogether.

This article first appeared in Issue 17, 2022.
Posted 1:47pm Sunday 31st July 2022 by Leo Lublow-Catty .