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UCOL Whanganui supporting pilot success in one-of-a-kind partnership

A partnership between UCOL I Te Pūkenga Whanganui and the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy to offer ākonga (student) learning support has been so successful it is being extended for another year.

Coral Hanna, the Student Success Senior Manager for UCOL Whanganui says the collaboration is unique.

“This type of partnership is a first for UCOL. It’s a really great example of local organisations teaming up for the benefit of ākonga.”

There is currently a global pilot shortage, and it’s forecasted there will need to be 252,000 new pilots by 2032. However, the training to become one isn’t easy, with a high number of exams. “Some ākonga were struggling with exam pressure, so in May last year the pilot academy approached us to see if we could help build their study skills, including revision techniques and exam strategies.

“We had the capability and we were happy to collaborate, so by the very next month we had a service level agreement in place.”

Hana Beck, the pilot academy’s Deputy Chief Flying Instructor, says they’re also pleased with the outcome. “This partnership has been extremely valuable. Aviation requires a lot of theory to be learned in a small amount of time, and it has been vital to allow our students to fine-tune their revision and exam techniques so they can achieve the best results.”

When developing the partnership support programme, Hanna says it was important for the two organisations to work closely to ensure the support was tailored to their needs.

“We worked together to co-construct what this would look like. One of our learning advisors went to the pilot academy to work with staff in person, establish a relationship and to fully understand what was required.

“The individual support sessions, tutorials and workshops have been very successful with positive outcomes. We’ve agreed on how this will work going forward and it is now embedded into their programme.”

With the partnership being extended, Hanna feels it is a testament to the Student Support Services team’s knowledge and passion.

“UCOL is well known for the wrap-around support services we offer and this partnership shows how we can help other organisations. We’re excited to keep working with the pilot academy into the future.”


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