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Returning Professionals Boost Graduate Numbers

A record number of students are donning caps and gowns for UNITEC Institute of Technology's graduation tomorrow. The increase in graduates - up more than 100 on last year - is fuelled by the number of people returning to study to upgrade professional qualifications.

558 students will receive bachelors and masters degrees and other postgraduate qualifications at graduation on April 10, with another 173 graduating in absentia.

Robyn Walshe, Director of Institute Relations at UNITEC, says the increase is largely due to professional people returning to study. "People are realising that to stay current in their profession they need to continue to study. Our new professional masters degrees in areas such as computing and education particularly reflect this.

"There is growing recognition of UNITEC as a key provider of professional masters programmes, which confirms our close relationship with the professions, and our role in developing professionals."

Robyn Walshe says that for all the graduates, but for those working and studying in particular, graduation is a celebration for the whole family.

"We are very aware of the sacrifice people make within their family circles to study. People do an amazing job keeping their personal and professional lives going, and studying as well."

Also among those to receive their degrees tomorrow is the first class of graduates from the new osteopathy programme. UNITEC is the only institution in New Zealand to train osteopaths, and many of the Bachelors graduates are continuing their study with the Master of Osteopathy, to complete their professional training.

The rise in the number of graduates has meant graduation will be split into three ceremonies, to be held at UNITEC's Mt Albert campus. The graduates will procession through the campus at 9.20am, 12.35pm and 3.50pm, followed by ceremonies in the Eta O'Ryans Stadium on Carrington Road.


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