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UCOL commits to students and regions

By UCOL on Friday, 15 February 2019

A photograph of a group of young people

UCOL is committed to ongoing consultation with Iwi and communities, and remains focused on providing certainty to students amongst the Minister's proposed reform of vocational education.

UCOL Chair, Ben Vanderkolk, said "the reform process provides us with opportunities for both students and industry and we welcome the opportunity to reach out to, and work closely with Industry Training Organisations. We are engaging in consultation and innovating to ensure we provide ever-greater value to our rohe economy." 

UCOL Chief Executive Dr Lynn remains focused on a bigger, better and brighter future for vocational education in the UCOL rohe, and is confident in UCOL's ability to engage in the Minister's vocational education reform process. "With the focus on life-long learning, UCOL has almost 180,000 potential students available to us and we are committed to meeting the needs of our regions."

UCOL is not broken, it is performing strongly. While polytechnics have been under-funded for some time, UCOL has improved its educational performance and produced successive surpluses - with the 2018 surplus being more than twice that of 2017. 

"We want to see a structure and funding system that truly enables learner-centric organisations," says Dr Lynn. "We want our staff to have quality jobs, with good pay and secure tenure, where they feel valued by the organisation and by the nation.  We are looking forward to the Minister showing his commitment to life-long learning and retraining by investing in our people as we continue our innovation and construct a leading 21st century training provider."

"Collaboration is vital, change is inevitable and this requires pace and agility" said Mr Vanderkolk. "We are confident of our ability to adapt and to achieve the highest NZQA Category 1 status — delivering quality vocational skills and training to higher numbers of students—and being valued as an industry partner."

The proposal delivered complements UCOL's current focus on Centres of Vocational Excellence, micro credentials, blended learning and flexible learning for adaptive learners.  These have been affirmed as an important part of the future of education, training and work.