From next year, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will offer more than 30 new and redeveloped courses in a refresh of its programme suite that is unprecedented in the organisation’s history.
The programmes include a greater focus on the primary industries at level 2 which will lead to higher levels of learning for example, in horticulture, agriculture, aquaculture and apiculture, all of which are primarily targeted at rangatahi but will be made available to all learners.
There will be a home-based te reo Māori programme at level 1 and a new diploma at level 5 for waka tauira wanting to progress from the current level 4 programme.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will also offer courses in infrastructure works to diploma level, tiaki kuia koroua for tauira who look after their elders, a new post-graduate diploma in professional supervision and much more.
“It’s a refresh and it’s really taking it to the next level building on what we have. We are answering the call for iwi, communities, industries and fulfilling our government priorities as well,” said Miriata Tauroa, who is Lead New Zealand Qualifications Authority Liaison.
“It’s unprecedented. We have never done this before but I’m really confident we are going to meet our timeframe within our plan. We have had six programmes fully approved and we have another four awaiting approval through NZQA and they have been good in their turnaround timeframe.”
The changes to TWoA’s programme provision are partly as a result of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s targeted review of qualifications.
Under the targeted review, NZQA is seeking to retire a proliferation of local and national qualifications. The review sees the majority of TWoA’s level 1 to 6 programmes replaced under a new framework.
“The targeted review is only for levels 1 to 6, so that’s a huge chunk of our provision,” said Miriata.
“We are in some cases, redeveloping our programmes fully and in other cases we are just making tweaks to align the programmes so it varies depending on the new New Zealand qualifications and how our programmes are currently aligned to them.”
The changes also take in to consideration last year’s Akoranga roadshow hikoi when the different takiwā were engaged about the programmes TWoA offers, improvements that could be made and suggestions for new courses.
“We asked the takiwā about what we are delivering and when we reviewed our whole suite of programmes we found there were a lot of gaps and in some areas there were disconnects in terms of the staircasing and pathways in our programmes.”
“Secondly there were new areas we knew we wanted to get into and going to the takiwā helped us to confirm that or not.”
Miriata said pathways for tauira to progress through programmes should be much clearer because of the changes.
“We are really looking at partnerships that we know will add value in terms of our graduates and staircasing into other areas. One of those is our sport and fitness areas where we have a level 2, there’s a gap - no level 3 - and two level fours, one focussed on sport the other on fitness.”
“There’s a gap and our level 2 graduates are finding it a stretch to go to level 4 and once they finish level 4 they want to go to level 5 but there’s nothing there at the moment. You either have to go to another provider or you jump across to something else, and that’s what we are trying to eliminate.”
“Our students tend to enjoy our environment and the learning experience here. I know a lot of our level 4 sports tauira have moved to other providers and they’ve struggled because they haven’t got the same learning experiences or pastoral support they have had with us.
Miriata said where TWoA does not offer provision at higher levels, the organisation would look at bridging partnerships with other tertiary providers.
“It’s really bearing in mind what’s best for our organisation and tauira but what’s also best in terms of potential employment outcomes alongside iwi, communities and industries.”