There is no evidence that privatising Victoria University’s foundation studies programme will bring more international students to Wellington, says TEU national president Sandra Grey.
Victoria University has a plan to outsource its international students’ foundation studies programme to a private company. The university is worried that it is not attracting enough international students through the programme and has drafted a paper recommending that it close its in-house programme and contract the work out to an external company.
Grey says that though the proposal is in its early stages, it is bizarre.
“It is good that the university is consulting before it gets to the formal stages of a change proposal because its current plan lacks evidence or reason.”
Grey says the plan, which will see an entire programme closed and outsourced, assumes without evidence that an as-yet-unnamed private provider will bring in another 150 international students.
“Why would an independent company have more success recruiting students than an internationally regarded university?”
Grey says TEU rejects the assumption that a private company will be better either at teaching international students or attracting them to Wellington than the city’s own highly-regarded university.
“Victoria University’s document cites no evidence or figures. It talks about international benchmarking figures that we have never heard of, and dismisses publicly-owned options on the basis of guesses and assumptions.”