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Professor Assures Students of Quality Education

3 March 2005

Professor Assures Students of Quality Education

Professor Hirini Mead said today students should be absolutely confident in the quality of teaching and education they are receiving from Te Wânanga o Awanuiârangi.

Professor Hirini Mead, Chairperson of Awanuiârangi, said he was concerned that some negative comments had been made about wânanga over the last few weeks and such comments were unhelpful in giving current and potential Awanuiârangi students confidence in wânanga education.

“Awanuiârangi is being tainted by the negative comments that have been made. I want to assure students, both current and those contemplating studying with us, that we are a quality and an accredited tertiary institution. Awanuiârangi is required to teach to national and international standards and that is what we do.”

Professor Mead said a degree proposal had to undergo assessment by an external NZQA panel made up of tertiary sector experts, including university staff and experts from the relevant fields of knowledge.

A panel sits for several days and then presents a report that is a judgement against a list of benchmarks. Degree proposals are often amended as a result of the process, and this is but one assurance students can have in the quality of their chosen course of study.

“On implementing the degree courses, scrutiny is ongoing, with internal auditing by the institution and external auditing by NZQA every few years,” said Professor Mead.

“Awanuiârangi has passed every NZQA audit since our establishment in 1992. Our teaching is of a very high standard and we have more Mâori lecturers with doctorate qualifications employed by us, than most comparable indigenous institutions,” said Professor Mead.

In addition Awanuiârangi has a PHD programme that will begin this year. The programme has this year become known to the international community of indigenous scholars and interest in the PHD study has been expressed from some indigenous people overseas.

Professor Mead said Awanuiârangi’s good name was important to the wânanga to the staff, the students, the Council and the community at large. We will do all we can to maintain that good name.

“Delivering for our students is our absolute priority, we exist to provide them with an academically sound programme of study and to provide this learning within a culturally attuned environment.

“I am disappointed that some politicians have chosen to make wide-sweeping and negative statements about wânanga. These comments impact on the morale of our students who are working hard in their programmes and cast aspersions where they are not due,” said Professor Mead.

ENDS

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