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Educational Performance At UCOL Improves

News Release
Christine Beech
Director of Communications

6 September 2012

Educational Performance At UCOL Improves

The number of students who successfully complete courses at UCOL is continuing to increase.

Figures show that course completion results at UCOL improved 9% last year, from 62% in 2010 to 71% in 2011. The figures apply to the number of students who successfully completed a course or paper towards a qualification.

UCOL Chief Executive Paul McElroy says the continuing improvement reflects initiatives introduced two years ago that have been extended and consolidated since then. “These initiatives were designed to improve our educational performance, focusing particularly on course completion rates. We are very pleased with the outcome for 2011.”

These results include a dramatic improvement in course completion results for UCOL students aged under 25 and for Māori students. “In 2011, 63 per cent of people under 25 studying level 1-3 certificate programmes completed their course, and 74 per cent studying at levels 4+ completed. This compares with 45 per cent and 68 per cent in 2010. We have a very motivated group of young students who are putting in the effort and reaping the rewards.

“There is also a significant increase in Māori student course completion rates, up to 50% for level 1-3 certificate courses, and 63% for level 4 upwards, compared to 35% and 58% in 2010. This reflects the success of UCOL’s support programmes for Māori students, including our Raukura programme to aid Māori student success, that has a strong emphasis on mentoring.”

UCOL is also doing well in other areas measured by the Tertiary Education Commission, including retaining students in study, student’s progressing to a higher level of study, and completion of qualifications.

UCOL ranks seventh amongst the country’s polytechnics for the number of students completing qualifications, with 65%. UCOL is ranked ninth in the country for the TEC’s two other measures – the percentage of students progressing to higher level study and for students retained in study.

Mr McElroy said he is very happy with the results and UCOL and its staff will continue to strive for further improvements. “We have exceeded most of the targets that we agreed to with the TEC, ahead of time. I am confident that our results for 2012 will continue the positive trend. Our focus remains on improving student learning outcomes and having an open mind to try new ideas that help this.”

Mr McElroy says he is proud of UCOL staff members, their commitment to student learning and their willingness to adapt their methods in line with good practice and student outcomes.

The Educational Performance Indicator results are the basis by which government assesses UCOL’s future funding. Targets are agreed with the Tertiary Education Commission as part of UCOL’s Investment Plan.


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