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Years of Lobbying Pay Off as Psychology is Granted University Approved Subject Status

Psychology teachers across the country received the news they had been waiting for last Thursday. The New Zealand Association of Psychology Teachers (NZAPT) completed its application for psychology to be on the list of university-approved subjects in February this year. Now they’ve been given the news they were hoping for with NZQA granting approval for level 3 psychology students to be able to count their psychology course as one of the three they must gain 14 or more credits in to gain entrance to study at university from 2019.

The change is important because it impacts how many students will take the subject and how many schools will offer it. Nayland College psychology teacher and NZAPT chair Hannah Cameron says it was a bit of an anomaly that psychology was left off the list in the first place, alongside more vocational subjects such as hospitality and building and construction . “Our key argument is that psychology is an academically rigorous subject that deserves to have parity with similarly academic subjects, “ Mrs Cameron said.

Mrs Cameron and fellow Nayland psychology teacher Gaye Bloomfield (who is also the former chair of the NZAPT) have been at the heart of the extensive lobbying needed since 2015 to enact the change. It was a long-winded process that involved many steps such as transitioning from unit to achievement standards and the establishment of a teacher working group to work alongside NZQA to develop the new standards.

Universities across the country were behind the change with NZAPT receiving letters of support from Victoria, Otago, Massey, Auckland and Waikato university psychology departments.

Year 12 Nayland College psychology student Ben Dodds wholeheartedly supports the change. “It’s great because it allows people to actually take psychology and not have to worry about getting enough credits in their other subjects if they want to go to university. I’m really pleased,” he said.

“It’s a university course that you can study and also it’s an ever-growing field that’s really important for the future I believe (...). Also, we need some more psychologists in New Zealand because th

ere’s a high demand for that,” Ben added.

Photos below of Nayland' College celebrating with 'psychology themed bake off'.

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