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Te Pūkenga Bridging Education Courses Prove Popular As Alternate Path To Tertiary Education

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2024 11:41 AM
Unitec | Te Pūkenga bridging education courses are proving valuable in helping school leavers and career changers progress into tertiary education.
For Semester One 2024, Unitec | Te Pūkenga saw a 23 per cent increase in domestic enrolments for Bridging Education, Level 3 and Level 4 Study and Career Prep certificates. These courses allow learners (ākonga) to gain the necessary entry criteria into higher levels of study as an alternative pathway to Secondary School NCEA levels.
“There are many reasons ākonga may not meet the entry criteria for higher levels of study. It might be due to disruption caused by the pandemic,” says Unitec’s Bridgepoint Head of School Katie Bruffy. “It could be due to illness, having to leave school early to help support their families, or that school wasn’t a positive experience for them.
“Bridging education courses are a fantastic opportunity for these students to gain the skills, capability, and knowledge they need to progress and succeed in their field of study or employment. They also build confidence in a supportive learning environment that gives them insight into how Unitec works.”
The certificates run for 16 weeks, are available for part-time study, and are fees-free for eligible ākonga.
“It’s not as onerous as signing up for a year-long course. We have pathway options for most of our degree programmes including architecture, business, screen arts, art, applied science, engineering and nursing. Last year, up to 90 per cent of students who completed Unitec | Te Pūkenga courses went on to further tertiary study.
“The feedback we have received from students is that it removed a lot of fear of studying at tertiary level. It also helps them adapt to being adult learners on campus and taking part in face-to-face learning, says Dr. Bruffy.”
The rise in Bridging Education enrolments is reflective of a general uplift in enrolments at Unitec | Te Pūkenga says Executive Director Rohe 1 Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.
“Our domestic courses overall have seen a 14.7 percent increase and interest in on-campus vocational educational is growing as ākonga seek to build their careers or find a new direction. It’s also pleasing to see ākonga participating in bridging education courses as if they missed earlier opportunities, they can still gain the skills and confidence they need to create their future pathway.”
Click here to learn more about Unitec’s Foundation and Bridging Education Programmes

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