Grace Gray. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Year 13 Solway College student and captain of the equestrian team, Grace Gray, always wanted to work with animals.

That dream may no longer be possible after Massey University announced they would not accept enrolments for the veterinary technology degree from next year.

Gray had already locked in her university accommodation and organised a pre-course internship after enrolling in the programme.

“When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet – ever since I was in primary school. But I didn’t think I would have the grades for it,” she said.

“I liked it [veterinary technology] because I was working with animals and it wasn’t as much pressure as being a vet.

“It was a qualification you could travel with and is recognised overseas. It led straight to a job.”

Last month, as Gray headed into her final exam she was notified that new students would not be taken on from next year.

“I found out half an hour before I was going to sit my [NCEA] chemistry exam,” she said.

“It definitely threw me. They could have done it that night after we sat the exam.”

She said the decision to close the course had been disappointing and the lack of information beforehand was frustrating.

“It’s pretty poor timing being told this late in the year.”

Gray has now enrolled in a psychology course but wanted the university to be aware of the impact the closure had on students.

“All the other universities have closed their halls. There’s nowhere we could go now.”

“I just think Massey should be aware how badly it’s affected us,” she said.

A spokesperson for Massey University said new students would not be enrolled while it reviewed the long-term sustainability of the qualification.

They said the announcement was made immediately after the decision was finalised which unfortunately coincided with certain NCEA exams.

School of Veterinary Science head professor Jon Huxley said the veterinary technology degree was not viable in its current form.

“While the Bachelor of Veterinary Science continues to perform strongly, the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology is financially unsustainable in its current funding rate and cohort size, and consequently we propose to temporarily close the degree for new enrolments,” he said.

“We will explore mechanisms to improve this qualification’s long-term sustainability.”

Current students would be taught through to completion and the university was working with those who had missed out to find possible alternatives, Huxley said.