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Our performance

September 2017 update


International Student Barometer survey
International students have rated UCOL highly in a recent survey, partially funded by Education New Zealand and participated in by all New Zealand institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs). 

  • Small class sizes influenced favourable scores given to learning (93%) 
  • UCOL's standard of teaching staff are well thought of, many of whom are industry experts
  • Accommodation and living costs in Whanganui and Palmerston North (where all of our international students study) are relatively low compared with other New Zealand locations
  • Some students would have liked more of a city life experience with more social activities and good transport links

Tertiary Education Comission review
The Tertiary Education Comission has reviewed UCOL's educational performance. In many areas UCOL is doing well or above average as follows:

  • First year retention rate - 77% (sector average is 63%) and overall ranked 1 of 16
  • Cohort based qualification completion rate - 63% (well above the sector average of 55%) and overall ranking of 2 of 16
  • Course completion rate - EFTS weighted course completions are at sector average of 78%
  • Progression rate to higher level study are at the sector average of 36%. For those starting at Level 1 the progression rate is 71% (sector average is 49%).


July 2017 update

NZQA review
A four yearly review by NZQA demonstrates that communities can continue to have confidence in UCOL as a high quality tertiary education provider.  The review, which was conducted by a panel appointed by NZQA, has no concerns and contributed positive feedback for continued and improving performance of the polytechnic. 

The NZQA External Evaluation and Review (EER) is carried out every four years by an appointed team of professional evaluators with tertiary education sector experience.   

Examples of improvements made by UCOL over the last four years include the timely introduction of new programmes and initiatives in collaboration with others, as well as a proactive approach to maintaining relevant programmes.  UCOL introduced 26 new qualifications in 2016, for example apiculture, which supports the Region’s economic growth and Accelerate25 initiatives.

Credible, long term focused initiatives include investing in teaching staff, providing them with training and support for a relationship based teaching and learning approach that improves student achievement.  UCOL is the first tertiary education organisation in New Zealand to formally employ this approach, called Te Atakura.

The report acknowledges continuous improvement in student success, relationships with external stakeholders, outcomes for graduates, and a strong, professional staff. 

The evaluation report states that “UCOL can demonstrate a credible and connected sequence of actions and improvements”.  UCOL Chief Executive Leeza Boyce said “It is evident that UCOL has worked hard to improve consistency of practices and educational outcomes across all campuses.  The EER report is informative and will be used, along with other guiding documents, to further shape UCOL’s future.  We accept the report and will take up the recommendations made.   We are on a clear trajectory, taking positive steps and a genuine approach to improving our organisational performance.  We are a high performing tertiary institute and want to continue to improve for the benefit of our students and communities”.  
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