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Demand for UCOL courses high

4 February 2014

Demand for UCOL courses high

The number of people enrolling to study at UCOL in 2014 is well up on the same time last year. UCOL’s Student Information team have been very busy handling the enrolment applications and more are rolling in the door with most classes due to start from February onwards.

“The high level of interest is a reflection of UCOL’s reputation for quality teaching and the employment focus of our programmes” said Tyson Schmidt, UCOL Deputy Chief Executive Strategy. “We are really pleased with the high level of interest and it is great to see so many people coming in the doors excited about the year ahead.”

UCOL’s Nursing and Information Technology degree students are in hot demand in the marketplace, with over 85% in either employment or going onto further study. Graphic design degrees are another strong area, with over 80% of our graduates gaining employment or going on to further study. Their qualifications are also transportable, with a further 10% of our graduates applying their skills internationally” said Mr Schmidt.

UCOL’s student body is diverse, with twenty-five per cent identifying as Maori and 28 different nationalities at UCOL in 2013. “We have the youngest student body of all polytechnic’s in the country, with 60% of UCOL students aged under 25 year old” said Mr Schmidt.

At the Palmerston North campus, the Bachelor of Nursing, Exercise and Sport Science, Veterinary Nursing, Nail Technology, Tertiary Studies, Electrical and Related Trades, Music, and other health and science programmes are at or near full capacity. By contrast, some arts and design, online computing, and automotive certificates haven’t proved as popular.

In Wairarapa the first year of the nursing degree is almost full and professional cookery is expected to reach capacity numbers. Exercise and sport, and music haven’t attracted as much interest.

In Whanganui, the Bachelor of Nursing, Hairdressing (Salon Support), and Hospitality are nearly full, whereas interest in fashion has been low. To adjust to demand and run educationally sound cohorts, the few students who have shown interest in fashion have been offered places in other arts and design programmes in Whanganui.

UCOL’s Trades Academy offers Year 12 and 13 students the opportunity to gain additional credits towards NCEA and tertiary qualifications while at school. The Trades Academy has grown each year since it was first started, and is proving extremely popular in 2014 with more applications than there are funded places.

More good news is the uptake of Youth Guarantee scholarships. In 2014 the government has funded UCOL for more places for 16-19-year-olds who have left school and are keen to learn, and want to achieve qualifications and skills that are valued by employers. Places are awarded to young people who demonstrate a strong commitment to both study and to a career path, particularly one with vocational and practical skills, such as trades. A Youth Guarantee scholar receives one year of study fees paid, course related costs where applicable, and mentoring and support. UCOL Wairarapa Youth Guarantee numbers have been filled, Palmerston North places are nearly full, and there are a few places still available in Whanganui.

UCOL is looking forward to welcoming students on its campuses in Masterton, Palmerston North and Whanganui with most students starting their studies on 10-24 February. Orientation week activities are held on each campus week 24-28 February.


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