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More polytech courses scrapped

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

5 January 2005

More polytech courses scrapped

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says more polytech courses need to be closely scrutinised, and discontinued if they're not up to standard.

His comments come as a course at Waiariki Polytechnic faces closure over quality concerns. An investigation into the course was sparked following a number of complaints, including some from students.

Mr English says it takes a lot for a student to pluck up the courage to complain about a course, especially when the complaint is to an institution that has, effectively, endorsed it.

"Most students will just drop out of a course they are unhappy with," he says.

"Waiariki is just the tip of the iceberg in a system bogged down with dodgy deals and low expectations.

"The COOL-IT scam at Christchurch Polytechnic, and other dubious community education courses, have shown that some polytechs will go to great lengths to protect courses that make money for them.

"The Waiariki case is just further evidence that students cannot rely on the system to guarantee the quality of courses.

"Students pay thousands of dollars and give months, and sometimes years, of their lives to these courses. It's imperative that they have confidence in the system and know that it will provide quality teaching and high educational standards every time," says Mr English.

ENDS

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