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Students' Support Calls to Review UE Changes

Students' Support Calls to Review UE Changes

This morning the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) has joined the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) in calling for an urgent review of University Entrance (UE) requirements after a significant drop in numbers of school leavers gaining the qualification was announced.

VUWSA President Rick Zwaan shared the same concerns as Universities New Zealand that the level of decrease was surprising.

“It’s very concerning that the drastic changes to UE that the government made last year have severely restricted the number of school leavers who will be able to go to university and gain a qualification.”

Only 58.3% of year 13 students achieved university entrance last year, compared to 71% in 2013 and the lowest since 2004, when the current UE was introduced.

“While VUWSA believes that entrance to university should be granted on the basis of academic merit, these changes have already significantly restricted the potential of students to succeed in a tertiary setting, and in a future chosen occupation.”

VUWSA Academic Vice President, Jonathan Gee, notes that “many students who struggle or do not succeed in the NCEA type of assessment actually strive in a university environment.

“The significant drop in those gaining UE means that many of these students will be excluded from higher education and restricted from a number of careers options ” says Gee.

Zwaan says that NZQA and universities need to step up their support for students

“We should be doing more to support students to succeed at university rather than restricting them from attending in the first place.

The new requirements and the associated drop in numbers show that we are losing potential bright minds at university.

“Forcing students who just miss out on UE to do bridging courses only increases the already high level of debt that they will graduate with.

“An urgent review is needed in ensure that young kiwi minds are realising their full potential and not being turned away from university just because of a specific technical requirement” concludes Zwaan.

ENDS

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