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Stakeholder engagement

Reform of vocational education

The New Zealand Government is proposing changes to vocational education. In March 2019 UCOL invited stakeholders to share their feedback to inform our submission.  

To find out more about the proposed changes, read our Future UCOL page.

2016-2017 Stakeholder feedback

During October 2016 -  March 2017 Christchurch-based company, Research First conducted research with some of UCOL's stakeholders to gauge what people know about UCOL and what they think. 

The results will help UCOL staff members to communicate more clearly and nuture stronger relationships with our community contacts.

Stakeholders surveyed

  • Current students
  • UCOL staff
  • Local businesses
  • Secondary school teachers and career advisors
  • Year 9-13 students
  • Prospective students
  • Alumni

What our stakeholders think

Massey University and UCOL are the most recognised tertiary institutes in the Manawatu, Whanganui and Wairarapa regions. 

UCOL is recognised as having flexible learning options, qualifications valued by industry, close connections with business and high quality staff. 

What people know about UCOL

Current UCOL students, staff and local businesses are the most knowledgable about UCOL and these groups identified UCOL as doing well in producing work-ready graduates, having quality staff and courses, and teaching practical skills valued by industry. 

Our challenges

Year 9-13 students, alumni, school teachers and career advisors recognise that UCOL has quality staff and courses. There is more that UCOL has to do to broaden understanding around UCOL's work ready graduates, our strong industry focus and how we support students to succeed. 

Current students are keen to gain more work experience while they study and need a hand from UCOL to do this. Some students are prepared to volunteer to gain experience. Local businesses said they are keen to have more UCOL students volunteer for opportunities, mirroring the themes identified by our students. In response, we have a new staff member devoted to employability to support our students, and we're working closely with Student City in Palmerston North to connect our students with volunteer and work experience opportunities.

Students are also keen to have more fun on campus with social opportunities.  In response UCOL is looking at running more events and working with the Students Association AS@U.  Already since the survey we have introduced a new Public Lecture Series, free to students and the community about interesting topics, celebration of Matariki with the community, a brownie baking competition for World Chocolate Day, and plans for Random Acts of Kindness, Diwali, Maori Language week and more.  We are talking with Sport Manawatu about sports and clubs, and the Massey clubs and societies welcome UCOL students too.  The annual AS@U Ball is in September and free breakfasts have popped up throughout the semester. 

Some challenges identified for UCOL were related to resourcing, providing enhanced pastoral care to international students, managing the behaviour of some of our young students, and improving communication.

Asked if they would recommend UCOL.. here's what they said:

As a group, the students were unanimous in agreeing they would recommend UCOL to friends and family.  A typical comment was:  “The relationship I have with the lecturers at the moment which is really good because they’ve helped me heaps, so I would recommend it to other people…”
UCOL staff answered a resounding “Yes”.  Comments include “…I was at a university.  But…I came here and the content is as good if not better.  The teaching is probably to almost a higher standard.  All of our teachers have to do adult teaching qualifications…”
Local Employers comments “I think UCOL… makes them think a bit more for themselves, they have to be prepared to think a bit more and they’re in environments where there are lots of types of different people and age groups and social issues so they really have to think quite well for themselves”

Have your say

We are happy to receive your feedback about UCOL at any time. Feel free to get in touch so that you can have your say.