VUWSA and V-ISA’s recommendations for outsourcing Foundation Studies – will Victoria follow?

VUWSA and VUWSA International Students' Association (V-ISA) put forward a joint submission outlining what we wanted a third party provider to follow in the processes concerning students, since Victoria University decided to fully outsource the Foundation Studies.

Read Outsourcing Pathways Creates Winding Degrees

Our aim was for student’s attending Foundation Studies delivered by a third party provider to get equivalent support, and the same level of educational quality as in-house students.

The emphasis in our submission was the importance of maintaining and enhancing the student experience across Foundation Studies.

To reduce our doubts about outsourcing, V-ISA and VUWSA came up with a set of recommendations, ensuring that Foundation Studies students have a fair chance:

  • Access to services through a modified student services levy.
  • Student representation through a system of class reps and the ability to run for student executives.
  • More available student accommodation to keep up with student demand.
  • A constructive review of the current programme for the new provider.
  • Student feedback processes integrated into the new system.
  • A clear conflict resolution process.
  • Consideration for bus passes for students; and access to facilities and services at Kelburn campus.
  • An orientation process to integrate students into the VUW community.
  • Programme accreditation through the Vice Chancellor’s Committee or the Committee for University Academic Programmes similar to the accreditation process followed for our in-house programmes.
  • Contingency to re-integrate the programme in house if the target goals of the outsourced provider have not been met.
  • For the Foundation Studies programme to be tailored to students’ needs.
  • Specialised services for refugees.
  • Scholarships be made available to Foundation Studies students’.

The university has released their final Foundation Studies change proposal after all the consultation including the two rounds V-ISA and VUWSA submitted on.  

What is SUPER exciting is the inclusion of most of our recommendations for the student experience being passed onto those in negotiation with the third party providers. Ie) VUW listened to our recommendations and will mostly be included in the third party provider like we wanted!

I can tell you all that I am so happy with this outcome to ensure the student experience is saved and replicated in this third party provider. The hours spent on the submission, researching and collaborating on these recommendations has really paid off.

Such a huge win, with many thanks to all those that contributed to the very long and anger inducing process. VUWSA and V-ISA have got this as a win for students and I am proud at how we worked so well together.

This whole process has shown me how important it is to make sure our student groups work together to support our students, ensuring we get the best outcome from our educational investment.

Jacinta Gulasekharam – Academic Vice President