UCOL cuts a blow for Wanganui - 25/10/2012
Mayor Annette Main has today expressed her disappointment that cuts in Government funding to UCOL are likely to see reductions in staff numbers and the loss of existing hairdressing and barber courses.
“UCOL representatives have advised us that the hairdressing and barbering course will not be able to continue as a result of reduced funding levels,” said Mayor Main.
“I do hope that UCOL will be assisting these students to move into other relevant courses, for example the successful beauty course which is not affected by the cuts.
“We know that there is an emphasis coming from the Government on science, engineering, technology and maths and understand that this focus means success levels for some existing education options are being closely scrutinized. However, the consequence of this focus is a loss of choice for our young people when considering their career choices.
“UCOL’s proposal to take a one year hiatus in enrolments to both the Fine Arts and Glass courses also causes great concern to me, as this could be seen by many as a strong signal of a move away from the arts.
“The strong push from the Government into areas such as science and away from the arts as viable opportunities for career paths and productivity will negatively impact on the growing awareness and perception of our city as a centre with a vibrant and innovative arts community.
“At a time when we are working hard on our reputation as a desirable place to be, this makes that more of a challenge.
“While we do have to accept that both the Glass and Fine Arts courses in recent times have not had the level of students to ensure ongoing viability, we also believe that there may be better ways to deliver and promote these in the future.
“A new approach must be developed in partnership and my strong preference is for UCOL to continue with enrolments into these two courses while this is occurring.
“We will continue to do all that we can to support and sustain viable tertiary education at Whanganui UCOL to attract and retain the young people here we need to ensure we are a leading provincial centre in New Zealand.”