From my conversation the other week with the New Start peeps at Auckland Uni, I don’t think its a bad thing for applicants to have to earn their entrance into uni. But I think it sucks that they introduced an open policy like that, and are now retracting it. I can only assume it’s to do with costcutting and a lack of funding for universities. They’re not even going to have enough to pay for the influx of students trying to weather the recession, so why make it easier for anyone to get in? Just like they cut the few scholarships Studylink provide, which were good because they were pretty open to anyone. There are very few scholarships out there with broad criteria. Most are very narrowly tailored and targeted only at specific kinds of people.
But it seems short sighted to me. As pointed out in this week’s Debate, young people who can’t get jobs and can’t go to uni will just end up on the dole, which is government funded anyway. I don’t claim to know much about this stuff, but if it’s at all feasible to help universities accommodate students, that seems smarter than, well, NOT. I’d rather see investment in a more educated/skilled workforce.
And on the heels of this – Pita Sharples calling for Maori to have free entry into uni. JUST as they axe special admission for adults. Could the timing be any worse? At least there is zero chance of that happening at this point in time. Race based policies may have their place, but this is not the time! From now, everyone will have to sit foundation courses to gain university entry, so let’s apply that across the board.