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Year of investment in teaching and students

By UCOL on Wednesday, 08 May 2019

A photograph of students walking through The Atrium at UCOL in Whanganui.

A positive financial result for UCOL is driving investment in teaching, students and new initiatives in 2019.

UCOL will develop more flexible learning options that suit learner needs, in-work training options, create innovative short credentials, more professional development opportunities for teachers, and workspace improvements that improve staff and learner environments.  

This investment comes as a result of UCOL’s solid financial performance as detailed in the 2018 Annual Report, Strong Growth: New Horizons, confirming a $1.085m financial surplus, a solid balance sheet and sound cash reserves.

UCOL’s Annual Report received a clear audit opinion, and UCOL Council Chair, Ben Vanderkolk, said UCOL is striving for a culture that proactively invests in continual improvement so it can meet the changing needs of students and employers in the regions.

Highlights in 2018 included the introduction of a Wellbeing Framework, the launch of He Kākano Rua UCOL’s Cultural Competency Framework, and the first applicants to go through UCOL’s new Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning, which recognises the value of learning in-work.  

UCOL Chief Executive Dr Lynn is committed to investing in the success of teachers and professional staff, and said UCOL has continued to innovate and grow.  

“The Wellbeing Framework supports staff to live a balanced, healthy and productive life at work and at home. He Kākano Rua encourages and guides staff to individually and collectively contribute to UCOL’s commitment to grow as a bi-cultural organisation. We are progressing key strategies that support Māori and Pacific student success, teaching and learning, internationalisation, as well as health and wellbeing.” 

In 2018, 374 full time equivalent staff worked at UCOL, 6,561 people chose to study across four campus locations and online, 300 international students came from 57 countries, 21 awards were received for research outputs, and work to engage a growing alumni of 26,130 UCOL graduates since 2004 won an Australasian education award.  

Mr Vanderkolk said in the Annual Report that UCOL is innovative and adaptable, and well placed to take a leading role in the Minister of Education’s proposed reforms in vocational education this year.