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UCOL must show commitment to Whanganui

UCOL must show commitment to Whanganui

Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says the planned closure of courses at UCOL in Whanganui raises questions about the college's commitment to the district.

"The UCOL is here to support the social, cultural, economic and environmental needs of Whanganui, by providing appropriate education for our people," said Mrs Turia.

"Other institutions expressed interest in building relationships with our community ? Taranaki Polytech and Waikato University, for example. We thought UCOL would be as committed to Whanganui as it is to Palmerston North. That's what we were led to believe when they came here.

"UCOL's purpose is to build the capability of our own community, so our people can choose to stay in Whanganui and contribute to the growth of our district, or they can pursue other paths if they wish.

"We do not want to feel that when the Whanganui campus strikes any difficulty, the UCOL's first option is to transfer staff, students and resources to Palmerston North, so that we are second best.

"I understand the future of the computer course is not finally decided. But we hear that two trades-related courses are marked for closure.

"It's obvious to me that the courses are not being marketed in a way that appeals to the people of this district. That problem can be solved.

"But the institution must continue to demonstrate its commitment to Whanganui," said Mrs Turia.

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