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July 14, 2008 | by  | in News |
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University plans to attract more mature students

With Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh suggesting that the current economic situation is to blame for the significant drop in the number of mature students, the University has announced plans to target postgraduate students as part of its 2009 strategy.

2008 saw a 21 per cent decrease in the number of first-year non-school leavers. Enrolments for school leavers also fell by four percent.

“The 2008 fall in new-entrant mature students and in female students may reflect the current labour market situation and pressures on household incomes,” Walsh said.

Similarly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor David Mackay added that the past year had seen a strong job market across the country, which may have contributed to fewer enrolments at Victoria and other tertiary education institutions.

Mature students form a large proportion of Victoria’s first-year enrolments. In 2008, first-year non-school leavers made up approximately 50 per cent of all first-year enrolments. The proportion has been as high as 60 per cent in previous years.

In response to this year’s statistics, the 2009 enrolment strategy aims to attract more students to PhD students, with the University expected to promote postgraduate study to both mature students and undergraduate students about to complete their degree.

The university’s investment plan, which is used to negotiate funding arrangements with the Tertiary Education Commission, calls for postgraduate students to be 15.2 per cent of enrolments this year and 15.8 per cent in 2009.

“Postgraduate students feel at home here, attracted to the buzz that is Wellington with its eclectic mix of cultural, political, social and sporting opportunities,” Walsh said.

Approaches to achieving the increase include offering greater investments for the university’s various faculties to boost postgraduate enrolments, active recruitment of PhD candidates and an emphasis on marketing aimed at attracting more postgraduate students.

Maori and Pacific Island students, students from low-decile students and international students would also farm part of the strategy.

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  1. j says:

    less old people gosh!! more ladies!!

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