Source: University of Otago
Staff from the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year were welcomed into the University’s operations this week.
Te Huarahi, University of Otago Pathway, and Te Puna o te Kī, Language Centre have been established with new staff welcomed on board.
On Monday, 19 April new staff from the previous University of Otago’s Language Centre and Foundation Year (OULCFY) were welcomed into the University’s operations. The move sees the establishment of Te Huarahi, University of Otago Pathways, and Te Puna o te Kī, the English Language Centre.
This follows a review of the OULCFY last year. As the result of that review and consultation with staff and stakeholders it was proposed that Foundation Studies Limited be brought into the University’s operations.
The impetus for the review and proposal was to ensure that the Foundation’s and Language Centre’s programmes are configured in the best possible way to meet student needs and to function as pathways into degree-level study.
“We have been extremely fortunate in that the staff who did work for Foundation Studies Ltd have chosen to come across to Te Huarahi and Te Puna o te Kī. They bring with them a valuable set of skills and talent and they will be an asset to the University. I think we have a very bright future ahead and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work together.”
Vice-Chancellor (Acting), Professor Helen Nicholson, says the review was built upon engaging with the ideas and insights of staff as well as robust and relevant data. She assured students and staff that the establishment of Te Huarahi and Te Puna o te Kī will have no impact on the courses that currently enrolled students are pursuing.
“Through Te Huarahi and the English Language Centre the University plans to enhance what we offer students and more closely align the previous OULCFY with the University’s strategic aims and priorities.”
When welcoming the new staff Professor Nicholson said that there had been strong commitment from stakeholders to make this work.
“We have been extremely fortunate in that the staff who did work for Foundation Studies Ltd have chosen to come across to Te Huarahi and Te Puna o te Kī. They bring with them a valuable set of skills and talent and they will be an asset to the University. I think we have a very bright future ahead and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work together,” Professor Nicholson says.
“I strongly believe that we can make existing programmes even more successful and can explore how we should best operate these programmes within a rapidly changing environment, which includes how the world and the University of Otago adapts to COVID-19.
Professor Nicholson concluded that most importantly students would benefit from the newly established Te Huarahi and Te Puna o te Kī.
“Given the current international education climate, this initiative will allow for more integrated marketing and promotion activity as the University rebuilds its international student numbers. It also means that the University will be able to work more closely with a wider range of international partners.
“While noting that there is plenty of work ahead as we recover from the substantial challenges of COVID-19, this can only be positive for all of us.”
A mihi whakatau, held at the Centre, was attended by staff from both UOLCFY and Otago.
Pathway Director Garry Chronican thanked staff for giving their “time and expertise so generously” as they become integrated into the University and said he was proud to stand alongside UOLCY staff as they look forward to the future.
Speaking at the event Professor Nicholson acknowledged that discussions about bringing Foundation Studies Limited had been going on for many years and thanked staff for their patience.
“I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding over the last year or so. Any change produces anxiety and unsettledness and I’m really grateful to all of you for your willingness to work with us during this process.
“This is an exciting time and I welcome you into the University and look forward to working closely with you all.”
Foundation Studies Limited was a wholly owned University company. Foundation Studies Ltd currently runs the University of Otago’s Language Centre and Foundation Year (OULCFY). As well as providing English language courses OULCFY is home to several successful foundation programmes which provide students with core learning to prepare them for starting degree-level study. Courses and programmes include the highly successful Tū Kahika pre-health science Māori student foundation course and its Pacific equivalent, the Pacific Foundation Programme.
The University already provided marketing, financial services, IT and HR support to the Foundation.