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Students Left Stranded

Students Left Stranded

By Angela Mabey

Victoria University’s recent decision to not accept any new domestic admissions for 2010 has eased financial pressures facing the institution, but it has also made life a lot more difficult for the students who have had their plans turned upside down.

Sarah*, 19, had planned to start a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Relations in trimester two.

“I rang the enrolment people at Vic to talk about my courses before I applied, and they said I should have no troubles [getting in].”

VUWSA President Max Hardy says the decision has had a wider impact than the university allowed for.

“It is disappointing that the decision was pushed through so quickly, so close to the start of trimester two, with very little warning.

“Those students intending to enrol had a reasonable expectation that they would be able to study.”

Sarah agrees. “I thought I would be going to Vic, there was nothing to make me think I couldn’t.”

After applying online in late April, Sarah moved to Wellington in early May to set up her flat and find a job before uni started.

“They must have known before now, they must have been able to let us know sooner.”

Sarah says she is no longer sure where she will study now she is not able to apply to Vic until next year.

“It’s a really long way away. Most of a year really. It would be a bit different if I could go to summer school at Vic, but they have closed that to us too.”

A high-achieving student, Sarah says she is no longer sure that she will get the education she wants from Victoria.

“I know that I will make it into Vic next year, but it’s such a shambles that I don’t want to.

“I am starting to think that maybe it would be a better idea to go somewhere else.”

Losing high calibre students was a concern raised by some members of the University Council when making the decision to close admissions.

Victoria University Director of Student Academic Services Pam Thorburn says while the university cannot comment on individual students, “the university is always concerned about the potential loss of a student who is capable of completing degree study”.

“We appreciate that this decision may have a significant impact on study plans and apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

Sarah says the issue is now trying to figure out what to do next.

“They really have left a lot of people without a direction. I know of other people in the same place as me.”

“A lot of us don’t have the experience we need to be able to get jobs to support ourselves and it’s just really tough, there aren’t many jobs for students at the moment.

“We’re kinda screwed.”

*Sarah requested that we change her name.

This story was syndicated by the Aotearoa Student Press Association via Salient


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