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UCOL Whanganui Celebrates First Academy NZ Police Students

A group of Whanganui secondary students interested in a career in the Police force have got a head start after completing a foundation programme through UCOL.

Last week UCOL Whanganui - Matapihi ki te Ao held an awards night to celebrate students who have completed the U-Skills Academy New Zealand Police (Level 3) programme. This is the very first year the programme has been run on the Whanganui campus, thanks to strong demand from the local community.

The programme provides a foundation that helps Year 13 secondary school students develop an understanding of the knowledge, skills, attributes, and attitudes needed to be a member of the Police force. After completing the programme, students earn 20 NCEA credits and will be endorsed as preferred candidates if they apply to join the Police force.

UCOL’s Schools Partnerships Manager, Hayden Robinson, welcomed each student to the stage to receive their certificate, and was pleased with the community response.

“This programme has been very popular. We received nearly 80 applications for 40 places across our Whanganui and Manawatū campuses. This intake saw 18 students in Whanganui and 21 in Manawatū join the programme,” says Robinson.

“We co-deliver this programme with our Police partners, and that collaboration is really helpful for our learners. Through it, our students have a fees-free way to gain the pre-entry requirements that all applicants have to complete during the Police recruitment process.”

Isaac Te Huna, who was one of the students receiving his completion certificate, says “I would describe my experience as a nine out of ten, it was really good. I think the programme itself was done pretty well, and our lecturer was really good. Our lecturer was very supportive and gave us detailed feedback, which was really helpful.”

When asked for advice to anyone considering this programme, fellow student Kreed Williams said “I’d tell them to take the opportunity. At the end of the day you’ll have a two year certificate that helps you join the Police force when you want to.”

If you’re entering Year 13 next year and are interested in serving the community, applications are open now for next year’s U-Skills Academy New Zealand Police programme. More information can be found at

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