HomeNewsUCOL Te Pūkenga experiences high demand in enrolments with Domestic and International Ākonga on the rise

UCOL Te Pūkenga experiences high demand in enrolments with Domestic and International Ākonga on the rise

By UCOL on Tuesday, 20 February 2024

UCOL Te Pūkenga Powhiri

With an increase in domestic ākonga (learners) and international ākonga doubling from this time last year, enrolments are on the rise at UCOL Te Pūkenga.

Jasmine Groves, Executive Director of Partnerships and Engagement attributes this success to UCOL's long-standing reputation, the changing job market and more people seeking education post-pandemic.

"UCOL has been part of our communities for over 130 years. People choose to study here because they know we'll look after them and open the door to industries that are now booming and eager for their skills."

With the international borders now well and truly open again, UCOL has also reported their international ākonga intake has more than doubled from last year.

"International ākonga bring added diversity to our campuses and expose fellow ākonga to different cultures and experiences. For the local communities there are also huge economic and social benefits too."

UCOL provides different programmes and pathways into education for people leaving school, changing careers or those who may be the first in their family to study. Groves explains the variety of these pathways has proven popular with people looking to further their education.

"Our Trades Academy, which is done in partnerships with schools, has more than 1,000 secondary school ākonga enrolled across our four campuses. Our Youth Guarantee programme has also seen a 26% increase and the demand in some of our courses such as Hairdressing in Whanganui, and Automotive and Electrical Engineering in Wairarapa means classes have been capped for semester one already!"

UCOL is also adding a number of new, diverse programmes this year.

"2024 is going to be an exciting one for us! The first cohort of Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) will be delivered in Whanganui, Manawatu will offer an Entertainment and Event Technology programme and we're extending the delivery of Te Reo Māori to support increasing demand. 

"We're also the first tertiary institute in Aotearoa New Zealand to offer not one but two Rainbow Scholarships, in partnership with Think Hauora and Te Whatu Ora Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua MidCentral."

After launching the Tuakana Teina Mentorship programme last year in Whanganui, Groves says this programme has been extremely successful among ākonga Māori.

"This programme has allowed us to connect more experienced ākonga Māori and Tuakana (graduates) with less experienced ākonga Māori (Teina) for academic and personal support. It's been wonderful to see ākonga, who might be struggling with their coursework or having personal issues, able to feel comfortable talking to someone they trust through this programme."

For ākonga looking to study closer to home, Groves says having localised campuses in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Masterton and Levin also makes balancing study with other commitments easier.

"We understand one-size doesn't fit all and we're excited to be able to offer the range of options that we do including full and part time study, in class, online and in-work. UCOL is growing, our enrolments prove that and we will continue to grow with our ākonga. We're focused on making the transition from education to the workforce as easy as possible and we're hearing first hand from graduates what a difference that makes."

Enrolments for many courses are open now, with details available HERE.