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New tertiary campus planned for Manukau

Friday 2 December 2005

Joint Media Release from

- MIT Manukau Institute of Technology
- AUT AUT University
- MCC Manukau City Council

New tertiary campus planned for Manukau

A new tertiary campus in the heart of Manukau City by 2007 is proposed in a joint project by Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and AUT University, with the backing of Manukau City Council.

The campus would cater for the education and skills needs of New Zealand’s fastest growing city and would develop in pace with the population growth, says a discussion paper prepared by MIT and AUT senior management.

It is proposed the campus start up with 500 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) in 2007 and could develop into a 15,000 EFTS facility by 2050, when Countries Manukau is projected to have a population of 400,000.

Manukau City Council (MCC) invited MIT to lead the development of the tertiary education facility, with AUT as the prime university partner in the collaboration.

The council and MIT have a strong ongoing relationship and signed a Partnering Agreement on August 22, 2005.

The joint discussion paper will be considered by MIT and AUT councils and staff and the MCC. It proposes that the campus starts up in 2007 and move to a permanent site in association with the MCC as soon as possible.

The long-term vision for the campus is that as the campus grows, it will become a pivotal part of a vibrant new city centre for Manukau and in the development of the greater Auckland region. It addresses the role that a comprehensive range of tertiary education provision could play in enhancing economic and community development.

MIT, AUT and MCC have agreed in principle to enter a formal period of joint discussions, which will involve a joint management and academic planning group, a feasibility study and analysis.

The University of Auckland has endorsed the MIT/AUT collaboration in principle and will continue to look for ways to enhance opportunities with the Manukau community.

The three parties say this proposal is an example of how collaboration in the tertiary sector can benefit the Manukau community by contributing to sustainable economic development and a skilled workforce.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says, “There’s a great need for more education options for our young people. Education is the key to a better future and there will be a close alignment between the skills and qualifications of the graduates and the needs of our city’s business community.

“This facility will be great for the city centre as it will bring a totally new atmosphere. Students add life and a buzz wherever they are and I’m looking forward to the impact they’ll have. It’ll transform the city centre. They’ll also be spending money, and I expect the campus will eventually bring in around $150 million a year to our local economy.”

A workshop will be held to allow Manukau City councillors to have input into planning for the facility.

The initiative will broaden opportunities in the community and help to address the under-representation in tertiary education, especially in fields leading to careers relevant to the local and regional economy.

Proposed New Campus for Manukau City Centre

Frequently asked questions about the proposal

1. Is this a proposal for a new university?

Not at all. This is a proposal for the collaborative development of a new tertiary facility between MIT and AUT, not a new entity.

2. What impact will this project have on the activity within each institution?

The proposal envisages business as usual for any teaching department within MIT and AUT. This venture will present opportunities for added growth. We expect the initial focus will be on maximising credit transfer opportunities between programmes of the two institutions. Bridging or transfer programmes may be offered to broaden opportunities for study at either MIT or AUT. Other collaborations between departments will be driven by opportunities as they arise.

3. Will AUT compete with MIT’s present programmes?

There is an ongoing commitment by MIT and AUT to complement, rather than compete. In essence, at the new campus MIT will offer pre-degree programmes only and AUT will only offer degree and postgraduate programmes. AUT will not offer degrees directly competing with MIT’s existing Otara provision.

4. Who will make decisions about the academic portfolio to be offered at the new campus?

Decisions will be made by the Joint Management Group for the new campus, to be established by the two institutions. Their decisions will be informed by a Joint Academic Planning Group. Staff will be encouraged to contribute to the development process.

5. Why a start-up of 500 EFTS?

The target of 500 EFTS delivers the message to the people of Manukau City that we are here to stay. It signals our commitment to the city. We believe it is achievable and is the right number to ensure a campus identity is quickly established and developed.

6. Does this proposal represent real growth for MIT and AUT?

MIT is likely to contribute 300 EFTS worth of pre-degree programming in the start-up phase - some of this may not be real growth initially. The risk of MIT splitting its own market will be evaluated carefully in the development of the academic portfolio for the City Centre. Medium-term demographics suggest that this proposal will represent real growth for both institutions. AUT has already signalled it is keen to explore the possibility of MIT staff contributing to the delivery of AUT degrees at the Manukau site.

AUT also considers that the proposal is a real opportunity for growth, in particular for bringing a more comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate provision to New Zealand’s fastest-growing city and the staircasing, joint academic planning opportunities with MIT.

7. Why can’t AUT and MIT do this on MIT’s Otara Campus?

The Manukau City Council sees a substantial tertiary presence, with undergraduate and postgraduate provision, as pivotal in the development of Manukau as a vibrant city over the next 50 years. It makes sense to site it in the centre of the city.

8. Do we need a full range of qualification provision in Manukau City Centre?

The City of Manukau is expected to double in population over the next 50 years to 400,000. International benchmarks indicate that a centre that size would normally have its own campus offering a full range of qualifications as part of the spectrum of tertiary provision. We feel it is inevitable that this will happen in Manukau City. If this proposal is accepted by all parties then MIT and AUT can offer each other a collaborative opportunity with the full support of MCC.

9. How will this proposal affect the relationships both organisations have with the University of Auckland?

Both MIT and AUT see this partnership as complementing, not replacing, existing partnerships with the University of Auckland and look forward to that university contributing to the project when appropriate.

10. How will this project enhance the educational and training opportunities for all Manukau’s communities?

This new campus will make both degree and pre-degree level education and training more accessible to the people of Manukau. There is no intention to diminish the range of provision at MIT’s existing campuses. This project seeks to increase the provision to meet Manukau City’s expanding needs for tertiary education at all levels.

11. Is a plan for 15,000 EFTS by 2050 over-ambitious?

Not for a city which will double in population over the next 50 years, and with participation rates in tertiary education inevitably increasing. The educational and training needs of people working in a knowledge-based economy are also likely to increase.


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