UCOL hails engineering funding

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 12:25 28/11/2012

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UCOL has welcomed government funding to provide extra engineering spots and scholarships in 2013 as part of a nationwide push to meet an industry skills shortfall.

The polytechnic will receive money from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to fund the addition of 10 more student spots on its engineering programme next year, UCOL management has confirmed.

The polytechnic intends to offer scholarships for the New Zealand Diploma in Electrical Engineering in recognition of a shortage of staff in the power infrastructure industry, UCOL chief executive Paul McElroy said.

"UCOL welcomes this announcement as it provides more places for people who are considering a career in engineering, and helps respond to New Zealand's critical skill shortage of qualified people in this field."

The Tertiary Education Commission last week announced it would pay for 700 extra engineering places to be offered at universities and institutes of technology nationwide.

Tertiary Education Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce unveiled the package in which Massey University was allocated two-thirds of the funding required for it to offer an additional 100 engineering spots next year at its Manawatu and Albany campuses.

In its Budget the Government had leaned on current providers to increase their spots for trades and engineering, directing funding toward degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Government had budgeted $42 million to subsidise engineering tuition and the TEC had last week announced it would offer a further $8.3m to training providers, including Massey and UCOL to offer the extra student places.

The Tertiary Education Ministry required providers to provide a total 1000 extra engineering spots in 2013 and the rest, totalling 300 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS), would be catered for within training providers' own budgets.

The Government sought to produce an extra 500 engineering graduates a year by 2017.

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- Manawatu Standard

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