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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 5. June 8, 1959

Editorial — Branch Takes Root

page 2


Branch Takes Root

At the same times as university councils throughout the country are shouting they can't staff their institutions, the decision is taken to establish two more branch colleges and the same councils rub their hands with glee.

To our unseasoned (academically) minds it would appear that far from solving the shortage of teachers, administrators, et al, the establishment of another institution, let alone two more, will simply aggravate the staffing problem.

It may be argued that some of the staff already engaged in classes at Palmerston North will now be relieved, but this is no argument at all. The number of students there will increase at a much faster rate than if there were no institution and the number of courses to be taught there must steadily increase.

To add to their difficulties the Palmerston North staff (if they can be found) will have the burden of establishing a proper school of extra-mural studies. This will show hardly any effect on the mother institution, for as anybody who has done any extra-mural study knows, it has never been any real burden to the local stall except in a few extra finals papers.

In short, in the midst of a stall shortage, the university and the Government are making it harder to reach anything like the ideal staff-student ratio.

The number of staff needed to achieve an ideal staff-student ratio in one institution is considerably less than is needed in two.

We know that many of Victoria's students come from outside Wellington, but they also come from outside Palmerston North. How much better would it have been to spend the more than a quarter of a million pounds that will be spent in Palmerston North in the next 10 years on improving hostel accommodation in Wellington.

It seems that in answer to local pressures the Government has ignored the national problem, and the university faced with the possibility of getting nothing at all, has once again settled for the second best.