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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 11 August 11, 1943

Training Colleges and N.Z.U.S.A

Training Colleges and N.Z.U.S.A.

In issues of "Critic" dated June 17 and July 1 appeared statements from Mr. Patterson, the Otago University S.A. vice-president, and Miss Alice Thompson, the Dunedin Training College president concerning O.U.s attitude to the remit recommending that Training Colleges be allowed to affiliate to the N.Z.U.S.A. Not only are they both unable to see why Training Colleges should affiliate, but they also introduce a lot of fatuous irrelevancies to show why they should not affiliate. All these completely avoid the issue, as I shall endeavour to show.

The first point that apparently both agree upon is that T.C. students who are taking University subjects are already members of N.Z.U.S.A. There are many hundreds of T.C. students and at the most only 50% of these are also University students.

All the talk about academic standards of T.C. and N.Z.U. is so much eyewash, nor was it ever suggested (as Mr. Patterson so plainly infers) that the invitation to affiliate be extended because T.C. students were interested in or connected with education. The suggestion came from a realisation that they are Students—responsible adult members of a vitally important section of the community. Mr. Patterson destroys his own arguments, for he says: "Obviously the common qualifications must be a certain standard of education" to be assessed, he makes it quite clear, by means of examination prescriptions. Well, the only standard the N.Z.U. requires for entrance is the entrance exam, which is the minimum requirement for admission to T.C. The N.Z.U. or the S.A. cares nothing for your academic progress after admission provided you are willing to continue paying fees. Thus we see that the statement that T.C. standards for common subjects is lower after entrance is not so much undeniable as irrelevant.

Miss Thomson raises one astounding objection to affiliation, for she says: "N.Z. student teachers are paid while training." Well, well, my dear Miss Thomson, so future schoolteachers should be dumbly grateful, they must not do anything that savours of biting the hand that feeds them. Common engineers, carpenters, and all classes of workers not only are paid while training, but they also have the bad taste to join Trade Unions and no one but the employers think ill of them for it. Would it be heresy to suggest that T.C. students are underpaid, and N.Z.U.S.A., Just like a vulgar trade union, might be able to do something about it?

Mr. Patterson and the O.U.S.A., and apparently Miss Thomson also, are unaware of any reasons why Training Colleges should become affiliated, but are willing to reconsider their decision if they "become acquainted with adequate reasons." Allow me to state a few First from the University's viewpoint:—
1.Added strength derived from increased numbers and finance.
2.Greater co-operation between T.C. and N.Z.U.
3.Broadening of viewpoint through inclusion of a large, vital and intelligent section of the community.
From the Training College's viewpoint:—
1.It would organise all [unclear: those] students, who at present have [unclear: almost] no representation in affairs not strictly domestic.
2.Facilitated liaison between T.C.'s at present almost non-existent.
3.Gives T.C. students a measure of independence from their Principal, which at present they do not have.
4.Provides opportunity for continuity in T.C. schemes at present made very difficult by the shortness of the course.
5.Enables all T.C. students to have a voice in all those important functions of the N.Z.U.S.A., such as: wartime concessions for students, curricula investigation, student health, I.S.S., student rehabilitation, and routine affairs such as debating tours, Joynt Scroll, Bledisloe Medal, and Tournaments.

Are these "adequate" reasons? Perhaps more are required.

A. V. O'brien.