“We hear you, but we don’t care.”
Victoria University’s Senior Leadership Team are moving forward with their plan to outsource the pre-degree foundation studies programme.
According to the proposal released by the Pathways Review Panel, the outsourcing will help the university achieve its strategic goal of increasing the number of international students from 12.5 to 18 per cent.
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The university will now enter into discussions with possible third party providers.
Those with teaching roles within the Foundation Studies Programme will have their positions dissolved at the end of trimester three.
VUWSA President Jonathan Gee said he was “disappointed the university has decided to pursue the option to fully outsource Foundation Studies, despite the seventeen submissions in the round of consultation, all preferring the status quo.”
He added that VUWSA will make a further submission on this proposal to “ensure our international students get the best student experience will be the focus of our submission.”
Academic Vice-President Jacinta Gulasekharam said many of the current international students were “disappointed” by the announcement.
“The university has chosen to progress with the outsourcing of the Foundation Studies programme, despite the submissions against this proposal by VUWSA and the Victoria International Students’ Association,” she said.
“International students are integral to the Victoria University community, and their best interests must be paramount in any decision made by the senior leadership team. Does the university value an excellent international student experience, or reaching its growth targets?”
Tertiary Education Union organiser Nicki Wilford noted that “about 60 students will lose their place in the university when they move to a private company.”
“People across the university are upset. Many are also concerned that this is just one of several programmes that the university could cut off and sell.”
The Review Panel said a high standard of pastoral care will still be provided and that they will ensure students continue to receive a real VUW student experience, but it was not stated how this would be done.
Victoria University is currently underperforming in regard to international students, not only on a domestic scale but also on a global one, an issue it is hoped the outsourcing will address.
During the years 2011-2015 Massey University and the University of Auckland were the only New Zealand tertiary institutes to grow their equivalent full time student enrollments.
The next round of written submissions on “all aspects of the proposal” are due on Monday June 13.