Costs cited as university terminates ceremony
The University of Otago is cutting both its secondary education programme on the Southland campus of the College of Education and the Invercargill graduation ceremony from next year.
The decision comes ahead of a review of the entire College of Education, to be held later this year.
Pro-vice-chancellor division of humanities Professor Brian Moloughney said yesterday that the decision to suspend the one-year full-time education programme next year was based on financial considerations. It currently has 10 students enrolled.
Prof Moloughney said the suspension of the programme was because running it had required "considerable cross-subsidisation".
The decision would not affect permanent staffing levels at the Southland campus on Nelson St in Invercargill, he said.
The programme led to a graduate diploma in teaching, endorsed in secondary education. Prospective students for the programme were now invited to apply to the Dunedin campus.
Following a separate review of the Southland campus graduation, the decision was made to end the event after this year, based primarily on the costs, he said. A celebration would still be held in Southland to acknowledge students' achievement.
In 2007, it was agreed to continue the tradition of the Dunedin College graduations in Southland for two years, following the merger of the University of Otago and the Dunedin College of Education until the arrangement was reviewed.
It had been decided to end the official ceremony in Southland from next year, though both the Marae and the Civic Theatre graduation will be held as usual for 2012.
Prof Moloughney said the post-merger review of the College of Education would inform future directions for the college.
"The feedback from the Southland campus is that staff are saddened, but the decision to suspend the programme for 2013 is an understandable one," he said.
Staff at the Southland campus declined to comment last night.
Prof Moloughney said the local education sector would have the opportunity to make submissions regarding the programme during the review in September.
On The Southland Times' Facebook page, students said they were "beyond gutted" and that the decision to remove the graduation ceremony from Invercargill was a "kick in the guts". email@example.com
- © Fairfax NZ News
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