Schools Plus Initiative Supports Transition To Uni
19 September 2008
Schools Plus Initiative Supports
To University Study
Universities have welcomed today’s announcement of plans to implement the Schools Plus policy as an important initiative which emphasise the importance of post-secondary education and training.
Professor Roger Field who chairs their representative body, the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, says policy which improves the secondary-tertiary education interface will benefit young people generally and Māori and Pacifica students in particular.
“Universities already provide opportunities for able secondary school students to include some tertiary study in their programmes and share their specialist resources, such as geography field stations and science laboratories, with secondary schools.
“In addition, some universities participate in programmes where university students mentor secondary students in lower decile schools. However, more needs to done to broaden the horizons of year 9 and 10 secondary students who do not currently consider university education as an option for their futures.
“Schools Plus should focus on raising the aspirations of those secondary students who have potential to succeed in university education – especially Māori and Pacific students, students with disabilities and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.”
Professor Field says data gathered by parts of the university system on the factors that assist students in succeeding in school and progress to tertiary education will assist the development of the Schools Plus policy.
“Specifically, initiatives around education plans for individual students, strengthened careers advice provision in secondary schools and increased funding to allow the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource to cover more programmes are viewed by the universities as positive developments.
“If Schools Plus helps to identify those young people who are currently walking away from further education when they have the ability to succeed at university, it will be an important first step. The second step will be ensuring those students complete an education programme that allows them to progress to university study.”