10 cool reasons to study at UCOL in 2016

Trying to decide where to study next year? Here’s 10 cool reasons why you should totally study at UCOL in 2016.

1. Our campuses are super close to town.

UCOL Palmerston North campus

The location of our UCOL campuses in Palmerston North, Wairarapa and Whanganui, and our photography school in Auckland, are all easily accessible and close to town.
This means bus routes are nearby and we’re basically surrounded by good coffee.
In Palmy, we are right on King Street, which is a couple of blocks from The Square and The Plaza.
In Whanganui we sit pretty on Taupo Quay, in Wairarapa we are on Chapel St and the UCOL Institute of Commercial Photography in Auckland is in the middle of the wonderful Newmarket.

2. We have fancy and ultra-modern facilities.

UCOL Palmerston North Nursing Sim Lab

State-of-the-art facilities is our game at UCOL.
We have an incredibly cool nursing simulation lab, proper beauty and hair salons, a huge trades building full of top-of-the-line equipment, U-Kinetics – a specialised exercise and wellness clinic, central learning spaces and more. So much more.
And the couches. The couches are comfy and colourful – what more could you want in a couch?

3. Our programmes are just like working in the real world.

UCOL Carpentry

All of UCOL’s programmes have an element of practical hands-on experience. We’re talking building actual houses, styling actual clients’ hair and makeup, working in a simulated hospital for nursing, and even working in our real restaurant Ambitions serving real-life people.
You want to learn how to do something? We will teach you, as well as show you.

4. There’s free buses.

Bus rides for free! Bus trips that you don’t have to pay for! No money required! Save your pennies for noodles and ice cream! Seriously though, UCOL students can ride for free in the Palmerston North and Whanganui city buses, and there’s even a free bus that travels between Palmerston North and Whanganui especially for students going either way.

5. We are (almost) everywhere.

UCOL Wairarapa campus marae

UCOL has four main delivery areas with campuses in Palmerston North, Whanganui and Wairarapa and the UCOL Institute of Commercial Photography in Auckland. We even have programmes running in Levin and Taumarunui. What does this mean for you? It means you don’t necessarily need to leave home and be away from family and friends to study with us. You can stay local and hopefully mum will still do your laundry, right?

6. Supportive learning environment is our middle name.

UCOL Palmerston North Learning Hub

If we had a middle name, that is. We have brilliant support services and whole teams dedicated to making your UCOL student experience the best for your learning and wellbeing. We have learning advisors to help you with course work and study, a health centre that can include free doctor and nurse visits, counsellors, accessibility co-ordinators, childcare centres, student coaches, libraries and learning hubs. We have dedicated Maori and Pacific Island student support in the Whanau Rooms and international student support for those coming from afar. We’ve got your back.

7. We do degrees.

UCOL Exercise and Sport Science Degree

Yes, you read that right. Bachelor degrees are not just for universities. UCOL does degrees. In fact, we do several and they are top notch. We have degrees in nursing, exercise and sport science, medical imaging, information and communications technology, management, design and arts, computer graphic design and applied visual imaging. Holy UCOL! That’s a lot!

8. We have a zillion different options for study.

UCOL Design and Arts Fashion Degree

There’s more than 100 options for study at UCOL. We do programmes from introductory level certificates and diplomas right through to degrees and postgraduate diplomas. We have courses in exercise and sport, cookery, beauty, building, automotive, computing, business, fashion, design, music and so much more that you’ll just have to look at our website to see them all.

9. We have a mixture of students from around New Zealand AND the world.

UCOL International Students

There’s a whole bunch of Kiwi kids studying here at UCOL but we also welcome all international students. We have students from China, India, Nepal, Scotland, Germany, and more than 28 different nationalities. We have a friendly international support team who are there especially for our international students and they even organise special activities to help them get to know what it’s like living in Kiwi land.

10. We have a super buzzing atmosphere and cool learning environment.

UCOL Palmerston North Atrium

Our Palmerston North and Whanganui UCOL campuses have awesome, colourful Atriums where there’s desks, tables, couch areas, computers and cafes. In Wairarapa it’s known as the learning hub and these spaces sit right beside the support teams and libraries so it’s all in one cool place. The Atriums are always full of people studying, meeting and hanging out. There’s cafes and coffee, oh and did we mention the couches?

Keen to study at UCOL in 2016? Keen! Go check out our website to see what we’ve got and make sure you share this post with your friends!

And the winners are…

Congratulations to our Palmerston North 2015 UCOL Scholarship and Award winners:

Andrew Cliff Award – Ashleigh Thompson, Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)

Fletcher Challenge Trust Award – Reguina Blair, Bachelor of Nursing

Palmerston North City Council Jaycee Trust Scholarship – Jane Barnett, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science

Palmerston North City Council Jaycee Trust Scholarship – Sasha Anastasi, Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology

Graduate Women UCOL Award – Rebecca Nilsson, Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)

Graduate Women UCOL Award – Reguina Blair, Bachelor of Nursing

Graduate Women UCOL Award – Moana Tipene, Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)

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Science UCOL

Graduate Profile: Ankita Sigdel – Science

Pursuing undergraduate study was on Ankita Sigdel’s mind since finishing high school in her home country of Nepal, at age 18.

After spending some time at home in Kathmandu with family and taking a study break teaching IELTS in an education consultancy, Ankita decided to move to New Zealand to study.

She had heard about UCOL’s programmes providing hands on skills to students, and had always wanted to learn science by doing it, so enrolled in the two year, full time National Diploma in Science (level 6) and moved to Palmerston North.

Ankita Sigdel - UCOL National Diploma in Science Graduate

Ankita Sigdel – UCOL National Diploma in Science Graduate

While at UCOL, Ankita learnt the laboratory techniques, theories and process to become a skilled laboratory technician. She says the industry placement she completed at AgResearch Ltd’s Grasslands Campus in Palmerston North in her second year of the programme was the best thing that happened to her, personally as well as professionally. “It not only helped me to learn so many techniques and led to a summer internship but I also made really good friends there who are now like family here in New Zealand.”

The door to the science and technology field was truly opened for Ankita when, after completion of her UCOL placement and qualification, she was selected to work as a summer student at AgResearch, New Zealand’s largest Crown Research Institute. Through this position she was able to gain even more experience and tick another box on her CV.

Now 23, Ankita is employed as a Lab Technician at Biotelliga Ltd based in Pukekohe, a region of intense horticultural activity in New Zealand. Her role includes strain management, lab management and working as a production technician.

Having been with the company since September 2014, Anikta is really enjoying using her skills learnt at UCOL to make a contribution to society.

“Our company develops and produces biological alternatives for pesticides. To know you play a role in trying to reduce the toxicity in the food chain, even if it’s a small role, is the best part of the job.”

Graduate Profile: Niko Pei – Contemporary Music Performance

Since Niko Pei was a teenager, he’s been meeting up with friends every weekend to work on music.

Born and raised in Palmerston North, hip hop and RnB has long been his hobby on the side.

At the age of 17 Niko ran into some trouble – but the experience inspired him to ‘do music’ even more. “I had a bit to go through emotionally, and I could have gone another way but I found that music was a good release.”

Niko Pei - UCOL Contemporary Music graduate

Niko Pei – UCOL Contemporary Music graduate

After several years of work experience in a plastic factory, Niko decided it was time to do something different. “I got to a point where I just wasn’t happy with what I was doing for work. I was sitting down for coffee with my neighbour and he asked me what my dream job was. I said that I’d like to own a record label and he suggested I study Music at UCOL.”

Having only performed in front of friends, Niko says the audition process for the Contemporary Music Performance programme was a bit nerve-racking but he received good feedback. “I got accepted into the course and it’s actually been good performing and being around others, making new friends.”

While at UCOL it was compulsory for Niko to try out other music genres. “It was challenging but it opened up my eyes, I now appreciate all types of music and I learnt about the different backgrounds and history of genres.”

He was surprised to get good feedback for the country genre aspect of the programme. “I usually just stuck to rapping but the programme helped me to sing and be confident with singing.”

Now 30, Niko has graduated with both a Certificate and a Diploma in Contemporary Music Performance from UCOL. This year he is enrolled in UCOL’s Certificate in Business Studies, with an aim to learn more about accounting and law to work towards his dream of eventually owning a record label.

Also on the cards for Niko this year is youth work. “I’d like to work with young people and help with crime prevention through music.”

Graduate Profile: Jess Trotter- Business

Jess Trotter- Certificate Business Studies Graduate

Jess Trotter- Certificate Business Studies Graduate

In the final months of Jess Trotter’s Certificate in Business Studies, mid-2014, she already had her foot in the door of her dream industry.

Working part-time at a supermarket and determined to complete her qualification, Jess was offered a casual job with Westpac.

With her new work commitments requiring flexible hours alongside rostered supermarket shifts, Jess knew that she would have to find a different way to study.

“My lecturers were so supportive of my opportunity at Westpac. As dual professionals who had worked in business environments they understood my work commitments and supported me when my work hours clashed with class times.”

“I learnt to get as much work done when and where I could. I would study at work when it was quiet on the checkout and at home, and email notes to myself on my phone when I had ideas for assignments.”

Jess chose to study the Certificate in Business Studies (level 4) to gain transferable skills that she could use in a variety of career paths and have a platform for further study.

“It was the first step for me; I knew I wanted to work in business and had dreamed of one day working in banking. The Certificate gave me the confidence and the skills to take the next step and enter the industry.”

Jess is now a Customer Banking Consultant in Development at Westpac Bank, having recently landed a full time position.

“The skills that I have learnt at UCOL have become second nature, and I feel that when customers or colleagues ask me a question I really know what I am talking about.”