Role models serve multiple functions as they influence Māori students’ goals and school aspirations. While Māori students are faced with various educational barriers, scholars contend that having a positive role model can influence their educational persistence and overall engagement at school. Therefore, it is important to consider who Māori students choose as role models and how they influence their goals and aspirations.
This article examines literature on the motivation and effective entry of indigenous students into mainstream tertiary education. The paper compares and contrasts findings from Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand, Aboriginal peoples from Australia and Native Americans of the United States of America.