Year 2 Communications students have expressed their shock at AUT’s cancellation of the Creative Industries major for 2020 just six days before the start of semester.
Ben Fitchett, who had planned to take the major, said he felt “stuck like a lost puppy not sure what to do” after the announcement.
Debate understands the affected students were informed about the major’s cancellation through an email.
A petition, started by Fitchett, gained over 1000 signatures, and was intended to encourage AUT to bring back the major for 2020.
Debate contacted Fitchett in the days after the announcement and he described the situation as not good enough.
“We feel like we’ve been left here with a year that was wasted, and we’re either going to have to change to somewhere else to do a similar sort of thing, or just put up with another major that we weren’t intending to do.”
Aimee Tibbotts, another student, spoke to Debate just after the announcement and said AUT did not seem particularly concerned about the situation.
“They just don’t seem bothered. They’ve been getting back to us quite late. It just seems all very rushed and not properly organised.”
Tibbotts said it had been hard to meet in person with AUT staff on the week of the announcement as well.
“So many people went to AUT to do that major. People could have gone and done completely different things if they’d known this was going to happen.”
Rosser Johnson, a Senior Member of the School of Communications, told Debate the constraints were “truly unforeseen and unforeseeable”.
“I’ve been working in the school since 1997 and we’ve never had this combination of things before.”
Johnson said AUT has since reached out to affected students and they have received the necessary help.
“We’ve got people working with other faculties so that they’re [the students] going to be able to get what they were looking for from a combination of papers across the university.”
Johnson said the school would like to apologise for the disturbance to students and it is doing everything it can to ensure students are able to move forward and graduate with a BCS.