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Govt lets tertiary institute off the hook - again

Govt lets tertiary institute off the hook - again

"The country's largest tertiary institution Te Wananga o Aotearoa has failed its second performance audit yet the Minister is refusing to take more than just remedial action," says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

Papers released to Mr English show Te Wananga o Aotearoa did not meet 16 requirements in a performance audit - including failing to provide enough seats and tables for students in one class.

The wananga, which was established in 1993, has more than 20,000 equivalent full-time students and teaches to degree level.

The audit, carried out between July and September 2003, looked at the head office operation in Te Awamutu, six campuses and two outposts.

It showed the university failed to meet 16 quality requirements, including:

* Not demonstrating quality management systems were in place.

* Lack of document control.

* Not demonstrating it had appraised staff performances.

* Resources not available for students before the delivery of training.

The audit says some students were completing a third of an 18-week course without resources while a July intake of the Applied Social Services programme had no classrooms allocated, insufficient tables and chairs and no access to computers for the completion of assignments.

In 2001, the wananga also failed an audit by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority on 32 counts.

"The government has not been taking quality at the wananga seriously. It should be restraining the growth or stopping it growing until it meets all quality standards.

"It has been allowed to drift along for a couple of years without proper monitoring. Students are paying and not getting what they should.

"The Minister should be forced to personally answer to all of those students if, at the next audit later this year, the wananga fails to show a significant improvement," says Mr English.

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