Getting Started – Getting into University and Polytech

University or Polytech
If your teens have an idea what and where they want to study, get them to start making enquiries with the institution, especially the admissions officer and with the professors of the subject they hope to major in. Let them all know you will be showing up in x number of years wanting to enrol and you will not have any traditional paper qualifications. Ask them to suggest appropriate areas of study for you to prepare yourself.Or wait until age 20: you don’t need any entrance qualifications then, just the enrolment fees. Some courses are very restrictive: optometry, medicine, law, etc. One can therefore decide to “finish off” by doing a year or two at a high school to get the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement).Or enrol at a polytech for certain courses that have no prerequisites at all. Once completing such a course, it can be a stepping-stone to further higher education.At present one needs to be a pushy parent to get things to happen, but things will become more straightforward as more homeschoolers seek out higher education. As far as the writer has been able to ascertain, all homeschooled New Zealanders who have sought admission to NZ universities or polytechs have gained admission one way or another.

Qualifications are Overrated
by Craig Smith
Home educated individuals (home schoolers) have found that higher school certificates such as School Cert, 6th Form Cert, Bursary (Now NCEA) are not really necessary for getting a good job.A NZ Herald article by Bronwyn Sell of 24 April 2000, said: “More and more employers were acknowledging the need to educate sensitive, creative and socially minded citizens. A survey by Colmar Brunton Research found that employers rated a number of items ahead of qualifications.The list, in descending order of importance is:Reliability
Work as part of a team
Employment history
Work-related skills
Experience in industry
Previous training
and finally, Qualifications.
“Seek creative ways to introduce yourself, showing the strengths you want the employer to see. The most effective way always has been and always will be: work your own network of contacts: friends, neighbours and relations and other home educators who are employers and seek jobs through them.The bottom line is, one does not need paper qualifications to get into tertiary institutions or to land a good job. Paper school leaving qualifications are entirely overrated.

3 thoughts on “Getting Started – Getting into University and Polytech

  1. This is so true – especially these days with most of the Universities running in house programms to catch bright students who for whatever reason do not hold a national school qualification.

    Entry is typically a free to sit diagnostic test of verbal and numerical skills followed by an interview. Students then do a 1 year certificate at the university which has a slightly higher degree of teacher input to check the students are coping than your typical Uni paper – which is nice. It costs around $500 for the year and they come out with a ticket into a bachelor’s program.

    Further, because it is run by a University it actually teaches the kids the things they need to know and prepares them for University study – unlike school as anyone having gone through the school system and on to University will confirm.

  2. Does anyone know of a way to help a child into Med school without correspondence. Or how to help a child with AS and A level subjects?
    Has anyone done this?

  3. Gidday Naomi,

    Thanks for the reference to Correspondence…I’ll take this opportunity to mention to other readers that the original article “Getting Started” at the top above was written before the NZ Correspondence School came to the party and offered all their NCEA programmes free of charge to 16, 17, 18 & 19 year olds as from November 2008. So if you are home educated all your days, as soon as you turn 16, sign up for NZCorro, take 4 papers (one needs to be English and one needs to be Maths) at Level 3, and assuming you pass, you have your University Entrance. While NCEA comes in Levels 1, 2 and 3, you do not need to work your way through Levels 1 & 2 to get level 3: you can go straight for it, if you have the confidence. (When signing up for NZCorro papers, do your homework and make sure the University you’re planning to attend will accept those papers…find out from the Uni which NZCorro papers they’ll accept.)

    As far as Med School goes, I am not 100% sure, but I understand the first year course, Human Health Sciences or some such, is a course anyone and his dog can take…but only the A+ students go on to Med School proper.

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