By: Anne-Marie McDonald

Brooky Barlow is Whanganui UCOL’s 1000th student. Photo / Bevan Conley

Whanganui UCOL student Brooky Barlow reckons she has the “best tutor” in the world.

Brooky is a Level 4 food and beverage student at UCOL, studying under tutor Janet Tomuri.

“She’s amazing – she’s the best tutor at UCOL.”

Brooky has the distinction of being the 1000th student at Whanganui UCOL. For the first time ever, UCOL has 1000 students enrolled at one time.

Brooky, 18, decided to study at Whanganui UCOL because her sister-in-law had taken the same course, and recommended it.

“There’s about nine of us. It’s really good because it means we get a lot of time with the tutor.

“It’s a lot of fun.”

The course teaches barista, bartender and front-of-house skills. Brooky hopes to study at Level 5 next year. Ultimately she’d like to own a restaurant or bar.

“Me and my sister-in-law talk about going into business all the time. We’ll probably start off small, like with a food truck or something.

“But a lot of people in my class have the same idea, so maybe we’ll all go into business together.”

Whanganui UCOL campus manager Bronwyn Paul said the campus’s roll was now just over 1200 students. When she took over the role in April 2016, it was about 600.

“When I started, I wanted to get to 1000 students by the time of our 10th anniversary in 2018. So it’s really exciting that we’ve got here a year earlier,” Ms Paul said.

“Our staff are amazing – everyone works so hard to put students at the centre of everything they do.”

She said the number of students on campus made Whanganui UCOL a vibrant place to be.

“We really need that in Whanganui.”

A recent analysis of Whanganui UCOL’s students showed some surprising results, Ms Paul said.

Forty per cent are of Māori or Pacific descent, with mostly Pākehā, and some Asian, making up the rest.

In terms of age, the largest group is those over 40.

“Many of these are second-chance learners, or those who are upskilling.”

Most Whanganui UCOL students are wage earners, and nearly three-quarters are female.

Source: Wanganui Chronicle


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