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UCOL Acts Appropriately over Cuisine School

UCOL Acts Appropriately over Cuisine School

National Party MPs need to get their facts right about UCOL’s International School of Cuisine.

UCOL’s decision to seek an alternative location for the School of Cuisine is a prudent business decision. The Education Act clearly states that UCOL (and other state-funded tertiary education providers) must act in a fiscally prudent manner. “We are obliged to make an efficient and appropriate use of public resources and maintain the institution’s long-term viability. The decision to seek an alternative location in the Wellington Region is in line with those obligations. It is not a prudent decision to proceed in Martinborough from either an economic or logistics’ perspective,” said Bonnie Dewart, UCOL Acting Chief Executive.

“There is no cost over-run in the development of UCOL’s Wanganui campus, as asserted by National Party MP John Hayes. The Wanganui campus was largely funded by the government. UCOL contributed $7.4m towards the campus” said Ms Dewart.

“UCOL’s partnership with Le Cordon Bleu to establish an International School of Cuisine in New Zealand is something we are proud of,” said Ms Dewart. UCOL began working on this project in 2004, and UCOL’s partnership with Le Cordon Bleu is not a part of a major regional initiative. The School is a first for New Zealand, and will be one of the first Le Cordon Bleu schools in the world to have a degree in culinary arts and business. It is not like any other qualification available in New Zealand. The Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Business utilizes a unique blend of New Zealand wine and food products with the expertise of Le Cordon Bleu.

The School of Cuisine is an international school with full fee paying students, offering Le Cordon Bleu based programmes. As such it could be located anywhere in New Zealand. UCOL has no intention to run any of its UCOL culinary and hospitality programmes in Wellington or from the International School of Cuisine.

Local Authorities contributed funding to Go Wairarapa for administration for the major regional initiative. No local authority funding has been used by UCOL for the School of Cuisine project. UCOL has fulfilled its obligations under the major regional initiative which has been in effect since 2006. UCOL regrets the need to withdraw from a Martinborough site but it has operated in a proper and legal manner.


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