Navitas opens Christchurch pathway college

27 February, 2014

Global education group Navitas has officially opened its UC International College (UCIC) at the University of Canterbury (UC), its first pathway college in New Zealand.

Dr Rod Carr, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury (left) with Rod Jones, CEO of Navitas Group, at the official opening of UCIC

UCIC provides first year courses to international students and, on successful completion, students can enter the second year of a degree at the university. The partnership is also part of a UC strategy to increase the number of international students in the region, which has seen student numbers decline since the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011.

UCIC College Director and Principal, Professor Peter Cottrell, former Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UC, said the pathway programme at UCIC was the first of its kind in New Zealand.

“Pathway programmes help international students to better adapt to the challenges of living and studying in a new country in a different language via smaller classes, more support and an extended academic year,” he said. “Students have full access to UC services and facilities so they feel part of the campus immediately; this will make their transition into UC as students smoother.”

The official launch ceremony was attended by senior representatives of both organisations, including Navitas Group CEO Rod Jones and University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr.

“We are very proud of our partnership with the University of Canterbury, it is part of our ongoing commitment to support and provide quality academic outcomes to international students,” said Jones.

Language school CCEL, based on campus at UC, also has a partnership with the university to provide English language pathway courses for international students.

Recently, UC announced a 50 per cent surge in applications from international students for courses commencing this year, compared with the same period last year.

Dr Carr said international applications for business and law courses had risen by 70 per cent, while applications for engineering programmes had doubled. He added that although not all of the applicants would actually enrol, the increase in interest was welcome.

As previously reported, international student snapshot data released in November by Education New Zealand covering the January-August 2013 period showed signs of a recovery in the Canterbury region, with a six per cent increase in students compared with the same period in 2012. In the full-year 2012 Export Education levy data, international enrolments in Canterbury fell by 31.3 per cent to 6,543 – less than half the pre-earthquake total in 2010.

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