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University of Auckland Mature Students Association

New Start 1976-2014

New Start 25th Anniversary

The New Start Programme began in 1976. The aim was to provide a foundation course enabling those aged 20 years or older, without a university entrance qualification, to gain the skills and confidence to undertake university study. This programme expanded the definition of higher education from "the completion of a young person's formal schooling" to the "recognition of the development ability of adults". (Heppner, 1995)

A perusal of the Success Stories will show how influential this course has been on the lives of graduands. The New Start experience has opened the mind of hundreds of students to a range of subjects, helping the planning of university study. Many people enroll with a fixed idea of the focus of their study and before the course has finished, have totally changed their mind about the shape of their degree. Others have no idea what is available and New Start provides a great introduction to what is available.

In 2001 the University celebrated the first 25 years of New Start. The main speaker at this celebration was Judge Michael Brown , a former Chancellor of the University.

Professor Raewyn Dalziel the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University at the time, was another of the speakers at the celebration.

Dame Anne Salmond and Professor Patrick Lacey
, who were both part of the original convenors group, were present to help celebrate the occasion. Professor Lacey, the then Dean of Arts, was a founding Lecturer and champion of the New Start programme. "The acceptance of this access programme within the Faculty of Arts, was expedited by the attitude and influence of the Dean of Arts". (Heppner, 1995)

Professor John Deeks and Associate Professor John Packer
who were both on the Committee which recommended the setting up of the New Start programme were both able to be at the celebration. Professor Deeks taught the very important papers on Study Skills. This is one of the core elements enabling New Start to provide that safe entry to tertiary study. One of the hardest things for re-entry students, especially into the Arts faculty, is the difficulty of writing essays. With the inclusion of Study Skills, unqualified adults were offered the opportunity of  entry into a degree programme with a high likelihood of succeeding.