EIT Hawke’s Bay celebrates its biggest graduation ever on Friday (March 22) with 430 crossing the stage to be awarded their diplomas, postgraduate diplomas and bachelor, honours and master degrees.
The number of graduands is considerably up on previous years – 349 were capped in 2012, 337 in 2011, 298 in 2010 and 268 in 2009.
EIT’s wide range of applied degree programmes continues to boost enrolments in higher-level programmes. This year, the institute enrolled its first intake of students for the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary), bringing its offering of bachelor degrees up to 13, plus a further three concurrent bachelor degrees.
The institute’s Year 13 Study Grant, which pays for a school-leaver student’s fees for the first year and a half of degree study, is also proving a drawcard for those wanting to study locally while keeping their costs down.
Not all those who complete higher qualifications take part in graduation, with employment and travel commitments preventing some from attending the formal and traditional event.
An annual rite of passage, EIT’s graduation alternates between Hastings and Napier. This year the venue will be Napier’s Municipal Theatre. The formal event is held in two parts, with a morning session for the Faculty of Applied Science, Business and Computing and an afternoon session for the Faculty of Maori Studies/Te Manga Maori and the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The graduation parade sets off from Clive Square at 1pm, with graduands and graduates wearing the time-honoured regalia of academic gowns, colourfully lined hoods, sashes and black flat-topped trenchers, making their way down Emerson Street to the Sound Shell on Marine Parade.
This year there will be eight Bachelor of Arts Honours (Maori) degrees conferred – the most ever from EIT. This prompted Diana Morris, EIT’s graduation coordinator, to order additional embroidered hoods for the graduates’ robes.
A further 30 hoods were also needed for those graduating Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) – 20 completed the programme in 2011 compared to 50 last year. Among those looking forward to being conferred with that degree are the Findlay sisters of Napier – Karen, aged 23, and Sarah, 21.
Also from Napier, the New York-born Adsett twins will be awarded with different degrees. Justin is to be capped with a Bachelor of Computing Systems, while brother Davron will be awarded a Bachelor of Nursing.
Another familial pairing are mother Carena Hunter, graduating with a Diploma in Applied Business, and daughter Mignon Breytenbach, who will graduate with a Diploma in Professional Chef Pratice. Originally from South Africa, the pair also contribute to a diversity of cultures and backgrounds that characterise EIT’s graduation.
Maori continue to figure strongly on EIT’s student roll.
EIT director of policy and projects Patrick Jones says participation by Maori is ahead of regional population demographics and the sector average, comprising 31 percent of EIT Hawke’s Bay’s student body and 70 percent at EIT’s Tairawhiti campus in Gisborne.
Level 7 degree courses remained the most significant area of study last year, with degree student numbers comprising 35 percent of government-funded enrolments. That was followed by foundation and pre-employment Level 1 and 2 qualifications at 26 percent.
EIT continues to record a steady increase in both overall qualifications awarded and higher-level qualifications, with a 13 percent overall increase in qualifications awarded in 2012 compared to 2011.
EIT Hawke’s Bay awarded 1889 qualifications in 2012 to those completing study programmes. That includes an additional 196 diplomas, 73 degrees and 21 post graduate qualifications compared to 2011.
An additional 210 qualifications were awarded to students under the age of 25, and 42 percent of 2012 graduates were Maori – up from 38 percent in 2011.