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May 17, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

President’s Column

University Council last Wednesday voted to close the doors to any new domestic undergraduate students for 2010, with only some exceptions. No students studying in the first trimester will be affected.

The University felt it needed to make this decision because the Government caps the number of students that it is prepared to fund in any year and as the University is already over that cap, it does not want to take on any more “unfunded” students.

The decision will be drastically unfair on many people who were considering studying in the second trimester and have a perfectly reasonable assumption that admissions would remain open, as they have been for at least a decade.

In 2011 the University will introduce managed enrolments based on academic merit, but apparently for 2010 the only measure they can take is a blanket halt on admissions. A very unattractive option.

The decision severely curtails access to tertiary education, including for many very capable students, and sends more than 1300 people out to find jobs in a very bad job-market.

The Government is of course aware of the situation, and could take stop-gap measures to prevent such blatant unfairness whilst Universities move to introduce managed enrolment. They have showed no willingness to do that, and that is very disappointing.

This is very stark example of the effects of reduced government investment in tertiary education.

The move was not supported by student representatives on the Council. We thought that this decision should only be made in exceptional circumstances, and as we had no solid evidence to demonstrate that this was a necessary move, we proposed that the decision be deferred.

This demonstrates a wider issue, which is important to all students. We need to ensure that the University makes decisions that affect students for good reasons and with sound evidence to back it up. It is not heartening to see that this does not appear to be the case. Only with strong student representation can we make sure this happens.

We did however have a small but significant success, when Council voted to allow students who had a few papers to finish their degree to be admitted to the second trimester.

Congratulations to all those who graduate this week.

If you have any questions, ideas or issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Max Hardy

From the President’s Diary:

Graduation Dinner, to congratulate Honorary Degree recipients and celebrate the graduation
7pm, the Wellington Club

Discussion on Draft Research Report into Student Services Levy services at Victoria
10am, SUB

Student Union Building Upgrade Developed Design Meeting
11am, CSB

Meeting to Discuss Student Union Building Relocations
2pm, SUB

Graduation Ceremony One, Faculties of Architecture & Design and Science
6pm, MFC

Publications Committee Meeting
12pm, VUWSA Offices, All students welcome

Graduation Ceremony Two, Faculties of Commerce & Administration and Law
1.30pm, MFC

Campus Hub Project Control Group Meeting
2pm, RB

Graduation Ceremony Three, Faculties of Commerce & Administration and Toihuarewa
6pm, MFC

Associate-Director Student Support Services, Regular meeting about Student Services
11am, KP

Graduation Ceremony Four, Faculties of Education and Humanities & Social Sciences
1.30pm, MFC

Graduation Ceremony Five, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and the New Zealand School of Music
6pm, MFC

Student Finance Hardship Committee Meeting
8.15am, KP

Student Experience Strategy Group Meeting
9am, HU


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