Over 40 Canterbury secondary school career advisors were told little would change for them in practical terms when Ara Institute of Canterbury transitions to Te Pūkenga in November this year, at a recent professional group meeting.
Following a presentation about the upcoming changes to the tertiary education sector, the advisors took a tour of Ara’s Music Arts Facilities to learn more about the new specialisations in the Bachelor of Music programme – Music Creation and Music Production – featuring several student performances.
Jenni McLaughlin, career advisor at St Margaret’s School, who attended the meeting, says she’s now in a position “to reassure students that everything is still in place and continuing as it has been at Ara”. She said:
That’s good to know when relaying information to our students and parents. People aren’t unduly worried about it because Ara has such a strong reputation locally.
Ara’s Youth and Community Development Manager, Mark Simons, says he explained to the group that “we know that Ara is still here as a place – we will still offer everything we do currently”.
Learners will still apply and enrol in the same way, but the logo on the application form will be different.
“Changes are starting to happen internally as we evolve towards Te Pūkenga,” says Simons, “but for our outwards-facing relationships, the only thing people will notice is a transition towards a name change”.
“Ara will still have the same people, the same relationships with schools, and the same courses. Over time, our courses will slowly be unified across the network, and Ara is an active and prominent participant in these unifications.”
Career advisors received the information with “pragmatic acceptance,” says Simons.
He suggested that because advisors themselves have been through so many structural changes in education, they seemed to have a good understanding of what this change means for their students and themselves.
For programmes like dual enrolments for high school students and one-day taster days, this group will notice little difference next year.