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Representation Real Issue for Wanganui

MEDIA RELEASE Date: 4 October 2001 Attention: Education Reporters For Immediate Release

Representation Real Issue for Wanganui

Unsubstantiated criticism of the quality of Universal College of Learning (UCOL) educational delivery is unfair and unfounded, according to Keith Clark, the President of the Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association (ATSA).

“Contrary to some information circulating in Wanganui, ATSA does not believe that a merger between UCOL and Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic (WRCP) will necessarily see a downgrading of tertiary education in Wanganui,” said Clark.

While Wanganui students, staff and community members are rightly cautious in accepting the current proposal, Clark noted that students at UCOL are flourishing with the emphasis on quality education supported by a range of student oriented benefits.

“The provision of free computer courses for students and the local community was an innovation first delivered by UCOL,” Clark noted. “If the UCOL proposal proceeds, these and other benefits are likely to be available to Wanganui students, their families and the wider community.”

“Wanganui community and its tertiary students have the right to represent themselves on the UCOL council stated Clark. “Only this will protect the city’s well founded reputation for academic excellence”. Rather than relying on incorrect information, ATSA believes that the critical issue for the Wanganui community and its students is ensuring real safeguards are put in place to protect their interests. That needs to be the focus now.”

For further comment, contact: Keith Clark ATSA National President Office 04 499 9716 Cellphone 025 756 526

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