Petition against axed courses
Northland art students fear the entire arts programme at NorthTec’s Raumanga campus will close next year, forcing them to travel to Auckland or beyond to continue study in their chosen field.
The institution is facing a $4.5 million loss this year and as a result restructuring is planned. Staff have been told of a proposal which includes axing courses in visual arts, sport and recreation, tourism, business administration, computing and foundation studies.
It suggests campuses in Rawene, which has seven staff and 29 students, and Kerikeri, with seven staff and 67 students, would be ‘‘rested’’.
NorthTec is taking submissions on the proposal until November 27 and is due to make a final decision on December 6. Spokesperson Peter Heath says, ‘‘The leadership team at NorthTec is painfully aware of the concern and distress these proposals are causing staff, students and the communities where we are proposing to rest our campuses.
‘‘We are not engaged casually in a wholesale pruning of programmes and jobs. The programmes and positions we are consulting on have been identified through an exhaustive process.’’
An online petition has been started to stop the cuts, with digital arts student Josh Bradshaw driving the petition through the Facebook page Save NorthTec Arts Programme.
‘‘We are not engaged casually in a wholesale pruning of programmes and jobs.’’
Cecilia Young is also one of those who could be affected. Young, who is enrolled in the Certificate of Art and Design course, says she could not afford to continue her studies if she had to leave the area.
‘‘I have really enjoyed the course and have come to recognise my own potential... now I want to grasp the opportunity and fulfil my passion.
‘‘While primary industries are necessary there has to be some recognition for study in other areas ... art programmes are not only beneficial but vital for students who wish to give back to their community.’’
Heath says the polytechnic needs to offer programmes that will attract students through the gates. ‘‘If we don’t, people won’t sign up to them and we won’t generate the income we need to meet operational costs and overheads.’’
Cecilia Young has written to the Prime Minister and MPs protesting against proposed axing of art courses at NorthTec.