The South Island's largest iwi and the University of Otago have re-signed a memorandum of understanding for Maori students.
The university has about 1800 Maori students gaining higher education across its various campus throughout the South Island and Wellington.
University of Otago chancellor John Ward says the agreement with Ngai Tahu, first signed in 2001, is mutually beneficial.
The grades of Maori students are significantly better than they were five years ago and they are involved in areas including medicine, law, commerce and arts.
University Director of Maori Development Tuari Potiki says the relationship means there is a direct impact on the well-being of Maori, not just academically but also socially and environmentally.