18 Nov 2014

WITT admits it failed students

7:03 pm on 18 November 2014

A Taranaki tertiary provider admits it has failed its Maori performing arts students whose qualifications have had to be withdrawn.

Barbara George

WITT chief executive Barbara George Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

A government review by the Tertiary Education Commission and the New Zealand Qualification Authority released last week found that enrolment and assessment guidelines at the Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki (WITT) were not followed.

The review looked at Level 4 and 6 Maori Performing Arts Certificate and Diploma run from 2009 to 2013. It said 127 from a group of 222 students gained a qualification without completing the course requirements. Four hundred tauira were enrolled on the certificate and diploma courses.

The review found that there was evidence that students were self-teaching and had little or no contact with tutors.

Two Maori students advocacy groups told Te Manu Korihi that the students have lost out and wasted their time and money.

WITT chief executive Barbara George acknowledged that the polytech was at fault. She said it was "absolutely gutted" at what had happened and it was unacceptable.

Ms George said WITT did not deliver enough teaching hours to students and had let them down. The polytech was working with the commission and NZQA to address problems and wanted all affected students to contact it on 0800 948 896.

About 50 of the 400 students have called the number to date.

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