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Unitec Students Angry at Lack of Consultation

Unitec Students Angry at Lack of Consultation Prior to Major Restructure

Design and Visual Arts students left Unitec's first open information meeting about the recent restructure of their department angry at the lack of student consultation in the lead up to the announcement.

Unitec Student President Ben Kevey said, "It is concerning that students, the main stakeholder group involved, weren't adequately consulted in a decision that will effect qualifications they have already invested considerable time and money into."

This week's meeting - which went on for an hour and a half longer than scheduled - covered the changes that will be taking place from 2014, and the reasons behind the restructure. Students were given the opportunity to speak and ask questions and many expressed outrage at the lack of prior communication, and the effect that these changes will have on their qualifications.

Current students who are not graduating this year are particularly upset to find themselves part-way through a degree programme that is changing so significantly from what they initially signed up for.

All 50 teaching staff in the department have been made redundant, with the option of reapplying for only 16 full-time equivalent positions. Students are standing with their lecturers, tutors and mentors, and have voiced concern for the potential impact on teaching quality of the industry professionals Unitec plans to bring in to replace them.

Ben Kevey said, "I always felt that Unitec supported the notion that 'you're in charge of your own education', but this situation shows that that's not the case for these students".

Many of the students affected will be presenting their year's work at the opening night of Gradfest tonight, which will be a bittersweet occasion in the light of all that has happened this week.

ENDS

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