FutureCOL CEO Bharat Guha was featured in the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper. Bharat discussed his plans to grow FutureCOL. Read the full article below.
FutureCOL’s CEO Plans For Growth – Written Extract
The new CEO of Hawke’s Bay tertiary institute FutureCOL is the architect of the Southern Institute of Technology’s (SIT) successful Zero Fee Scheme. Bharat Guha’s scheme has been credited with reversing Invercargill’s declining population by attracting more students to the city.
Thanks to the 2001 scheme, SIT has a quadrupled roll, making it the sixth largest government Institute of Technology/Polytechnic in New Zealand.
Mr Bharat was also deputy chief of SIT’s corporate division, instrumental in setting up the Question Campus and responsible for overseas marketing. SIT has 1200 international students.
He and his Southland-born wife had no former links with Hawke’s Bay but are happy to be in another rural based region.
The regions are the backbone of New Zealand, regardless of what the politicians say,” he said.
He was shoulder tapped for the job and plans to grow FutureCOL’s roll of 300 students, half local and half international. “we are small but we have a lot of expertise.”
The Singapore born Otago University graduate was once an international student himself and said many international students aspired to stay in New Zealand.
It is very important we give them the training and understanding of what it is to be a kiwi.”
To that end SIT students were given free tickets for Southland Stags rugby games. He is ken to foster the community engagement, integrating the college’s training with career opportunities, while also growing the number of international students.
I’m very conscious of making sure there is a balance – I’ve noticed too many private training organisations in Auckland fully focused on international students.”
Following a close association with Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt for events he is looking forward to meeting local mayors.
I understand they are very supportive of International Students.”
Long time CEO Liddy Trotten is taking a well-earned holiday and will later return in a supportive role.
She said Mr Guha’s appointment came at good times. Thanks to the increasing international corporatization of Hawke’s Bays primary industries, with many controlling the value chain, there was a growing demand for trained workers.