NorthTec is proposing major restructuring which could affect a number of courses, jobs, and campuses.

The Sport and Recreation programme, which offers a level five certificate; a level six diploma; and Auckland University of Technology's [AUT] Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, is on the chopping block.

The nine students the Northern Advocate talked to signed up to the programme with the intention of working their way up the bachelor's degree

On Monday their tutors told them about NorthTec's proposed restructure, and they're upset because they love studying at NorthTec.


Reporter Mikaela Collins and photographer Michael Cunningham went to hear what they had to say.

Marcia Aperahama, level six diploma student.

"It sounded very hopeless at that stage, the process is quite shocking we weren't involved in any consultation prior to that.

"Everyone knows the struggle to live in Auckland. For many of us it is unrealistic to move there but we're being pushed in that direction. [NorthTec's] whole tagline is `stay close go far' but they're actually pushing us further away in this.

"I feel like there's a discourse the course is not qualified by the potential jobs that students may go in to. But that's a very narrow focus and what are they basing that on? Because people come out and there's a whole spectrum of areas they work in the community."

Vinkal Gaur, level five certificate student from India.

"It was a big blow and we never saw it coming. For international students the timing is so bad.

"We are supposed to renew our visas next month and to renew our visa I don't know where to go because to renew your visa you need an offer letter from here or AUT or wherever they want to put us now.

"AUT has already closed applications for next semester. Plus for international students, I asked a guy from immigration at another campus he said if you start your visa process after the December it will be very tricky to get your visa before February.

"It looks like if it doesn't work out I have nothing. If I have to go back to India with a certificate I don't stand anywhere I look like an idiot who spend $50,000 on a certificate."

Jaimee Lewin, level five certificate student

"There's a lot of students here who have already got things in place to go on to and that's because we're passionate about this community.

"You go somewhere else to study, that's all your going to hear about is their statistics and you're going to become passionate about their issues and you might not come back.

"It's tricky for some of us students that have learning disabilities. We have a lot of support within this facility because it's smaller than what AUT offer."

Paul Scherf, level five certificate, owns gym in Tikipunga.

"For myself this was a business venture and for my business now that means I can't go on qualifying myself.

"I can't work with disadvantaged children like I want to. It's pretty much a dream over if it does stop.

"Basically it's a false advertising situation: come and join us for a degree and we'll take it away from you.

"I simply wouldn't have done the certificate if I couldn't continue to do the degree. Our tutors put it to us to get the degree because the certificate just doesn't mean a lot."

Krystal Currin, level five certificate student.

"I am quite worried for myself but I am quite worried for future generations who do want to do sport and recreation in Northland.

"When I found out NorthTec wanted to get rid of our course, or withdraw our curriculum all together, I was devastated.

"I've put a lot on the line to come here and study being the solo mum of two children I can't just uproot and move to Auckland so the first thing I thought about was my family."

Mikaela Eley, level six diploma student.

"I came from AUT and I hated Auckland. I'm a born-and-bred Northlander, I wanted to come back home and be able to access the resources that I love. I love being at the beach, I love being outdoors and being practical.

"If I have to go back to Auckland I don't think that's an option for me.

"I'm one of the students that have learning difficulties and so they funded for me to get various programmes to assess my learning difficulties. Our tutors are amazing."