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New education partnership benefits Whanganui

By UCOL on Thursday, 05 July 2018

A photograph of New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy Chief Executive, Phil Bedford and UCOL Chief Executive Leeza Boyce.

Two leading Whanganui tertiary education organisations today signed a memorandum of understanding to roll out an innovative programme that will see students graduate with commercial pilot qualifications and a business degree.

The memorandum provides a pathway agreement for aviation students to carry out study initially in their home country, and later in Whanganui. Potential pathway options include English language, business, and management qualifications.  

The agreement was witnessed by a group of representatives including pilots, students, businesses, the District Council, Whanganui and Partners, the Pilot Academy and UCOL.  

New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy Chief Executive, Phill Bedford, said the Academy has a strong history of successfully training professional and recreational pilots. “It will be attractive to our students to study at UCOL at the same time as they complete their aviation qualification.  We are putting ourselves on the world stage in terms of the level and quality of training available here in Whanganui.  We are delighted to explore these opportunities with UCOL. NZICPA is experiencing growth in enrolments, with the next intake of students programmed to arrive in July.”  

UCOL is a high performing, government funded tertiary institute with over 6,000 students each year coming from around 57 different nationalities. Leeza Boyce, UCOL Chief Executive said “We are delighted to showcase the education opportunities available in Whanganui and grow international education. This is important to Whanganui and UCOL’s diploma and degree qualifications are well regarded as being of a high standard. It makes sense to collaborate and to have strong and innovative academic offerings that will ultimately result in better employment outcomes for graduates of both organisations.”  

There is a current a shortage of 250,000 pilots globally. “With the average mandatory retirement age of commercial pilots at 62, the global shortage will only get worse with demand for international travel forecasted to increase” says Dr Arthur Chin, UCOL Executive Director for Business Development. “With a business qualification, experienced pilots would be able to continue contributing to the industry of their choice, effectively providing them with a second career”. 

The NZICPA and UCOL memorandum also paves the way to explore international educational opportunities in China. The aim is to promote the joint initiative to all prospective international students by the end of the year.