Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) is disappointed that the Tertiary Education Commission has decided to cut all funding to pre-degree courses previously offered at universities around New Zealand. This decision has already affected students in the Wellington region through Victoria University’s decision to close its Certificate of University Preparation (CUP) Programme.
Because there are no alternatives on offer in 2012, this now means that students wanting a second chance at higher education in the Wellington region will have no options available to them, said VUWSA president Seamus Brady.
“Victoria (along with other universities that have cut pre-degree courses) risks creating a negative image amongst New Zealand’s most marginalised groups. These groups should have the right to ‘get amongst the best’ and should not be deterred because of educational inequalities they have experienced that may have been beyond their control.”
VUWSA believes the closure of the CUP programme will significantly deter many students from higher education.
Mr Brady said the closure of the CUP programme clearly signals to prospective students that unless their secondary schooling experience has prepared them for university, or they have a degree already, higher education will simply be out of reach for them.
“This has the potential of creating an ‘elitist’ conception of university. It also has the potential of denying the many attributes that ‘mature’ students bring to the campus in particular. In many senses it narrows the education path of people to a predefined, rather archaic way of looking at education.”