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UCOL: Student success on the rise

Media Release

Student success on the rise

13 August 2014

New Tertiary Education data shows enrolments at UCOL are the strongest in the country amongst polytechnics, and the number of students successfully completing courses continues to increase.

Recently released TEC data shows that as at April this year, UCOL had achieved percentage (83.9%) of its government funded student allocation for the year, the highest out of 18 polytechnics in the country.

UCOL Chief Executive Paul McElroy says this is a tremendous result given that this doesn’t include mid-year enrolments.

“I am also delighted that sustained improvements in our students’ course completion rates have continued to climb by 3% last year, from 73% in 2012 to 76% in 2013. The rate of Maori student course completions at UCOL also increased, from 65% to 68%. I also know that UCOL’s course completion performance has been improving at a faster rate than other polytechnics. UCOL has achieved 3% increases year on year compared to a sector median of 1% per year.”

The positive trends are a result of UCOL’s focus on supporting teaching teams and enhancing students’ learning experiences, Mr McElroy says.

“Staff have worked hard to contribute to these outcomes and remain dedicated to student success. Our ability to keep on improving educational outcomes for students relies heavily on staff capability and commitment, so we have placed emphasis on supporting and improving teaching quality at UCOL. We want to build on the existing great teaching and support teachers, within their teams, to further improve on professional practice.

“A priority is enhancing students’ learning experiences, particularly for Maori students, to improve participation and completion outcomes. We have developed an ambitious relationship-based programme based on Te Kotahitanga, focused on creating an extended family like classroom context, looking at teaching practices, setting goals, listening to student voices and working together for student success. Positive changes can be seen already and we expect to see more improvements in overall success for all students.

“In terms of enrolments, we are tracking very well to meet our Investment Plan commitments for the year, and our Youth Guarantee and Trades Academy places are already over-flowing.”

UCOL also did well in other areas measured by the TEC, moving with the rising sector median for students retained in study with an increased rate of 65% in 2012 to 68% in 2013.

The rate of UCOL students progressing on to higher-level qualifications after completing remains above sector median, and completion of qualifications at UCOL is stable at 65%.


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