Protest march over UCOL

By Staff Reporter

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UCOL fine arts student Bernie Steyne has called for a show of solidarity today from fellow fine arts, fashion and design students at UCOL.

He has asked students to meet outside the main entrance to UCOL in Rutland St at 12.30pm and march shoulder-to-shoulder to the Wanganui District Council Chambers to air their grievances regarding the proposed cuts to their programmes.

Mr Steyne said he'd been shown so much support for calling for the continuation of courses, funding and tutors he was "blown away".

"I've had students approaching me for more than two weeks now." he said.

He also designed a T-shirt with the slogan "Ignite of passion" across the front, had a pile made up and they sold out within a couple of days.

"I'm being asked for more ... they've become like our inaugural school uniform, I suppose," Mr Steyne said.

The student march will go from Rutland St into Drews Ave, Ridgway St and into Victoria Ave.

"We will march up Victoria Ave hoping, of course, that Chester Borrows is in his home office, and then on to the council chambers in Guyton St," Mr Steyne said.

The students are protesting against cuts to the UCOL arts programme.

UCOL chief executive Paul McElroy has called the glass and fine arts degrees unsustainable with low enrolments and high costs. The polytech plans to not take on first-year glass and fine arts students next year, in a "pause" to find ways to put art teaching on a stronger footing.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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