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Forum On New Tertiary Institution For Manukau

5 October 2004

Successful Forum On New Tertiary Institution For Manukau

A very successful forum focusing on planning a new tertiary institution in Manukau has been held at the Civic Centre, Manukau City. It was organised by Manukau City Council and there were 50 attendees including representatives from MIT, AUT, Auckland University and Te Wananga o Aotearoa, and the Tertiary Education Commission.

The purpose was to discuss how the institutions could respond to the challenges faced in the fast-growing city. The forum concluded very positively with the Tertiary Education Commission advising it is prepared to look at proposals from interested stakeholders.

It was the first time that all interested parties in this area have gathered together to discuss the subject. There is no agreement yet about what form of institution is required, although there is agreement about the need for more higher education resources in the city.

The Council has recognised the demand for such an institution because of continuing growth in the city. The population increased last year by 10,000 and a very high percentage of residents are young.

A recent Council report found education levels need to rise and that options at tertiary level do not adequately serve the diverse needs of the community. Large numbers of teenagers leave secondary school each year without gaining qualifications and with no intention of moving into further study.

The most suitable location would be at Manukau City Centre but Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis says there is no agreement yet about the structure and governance. "However it is likely that the new institution will be a collaborative venture with more than one stakeholder. In fact I believe we need a completely new structure, something outside the box. It should have university status but deliver its services differently.

"I am open-minded about the structure but I am certain we need another institution that complements the role of Manukau Institute of Technology."

The Council is not responsible for education provision in the city but it is prepared to provide land and is also examining the possibility of assisting sharing of facilities.

"I am also proud that the Council is driving the process of planning this new facility. This has never been done before by a council in New Zealand. No-one's had the passion and focus to push for a new style of tertiary institution within its boundaries.

"The Council has plans to develop of Manukau City Centre to make it a more dynamic and lively place than at present. There will be more apartments, further shopping and entertainment options. A new tertiary institution would complement those plans and student populations always bring energy and colour to any city, as they do in Dunedin. It will become a city centre with a real heart."

ENDS


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