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Lake Taupo University College moves forward

Strong commitment to establishing a University College in Taupo specialising in high tech degrees was announced today.

A preliminary tripartite agreement between Lake Taupo Development Company, the University of Limerick (Ireland) and Victoria University of Wellington has been signed.

The proposed University College will sit at the core of a high tech incubator and business park which will offer employment to graduates of the College's IT based degrees and invest venture capital in the most innovative student projects.

"This venture will not only support the economic development of Taupo - it will be great for New Zealand's future", stated Peter Henry, Chairperson of the Lake Taupo Development Company which will set up the venture. "I've seen the concept work in Ireland and we're going to make it happen for New Zealand. We will be able to attract business investors because we'll be supplying the graduates they need, and we'll be able to keep our talented youth because there will be an exciting range of employment options for them here".

The venture enjoys strong support from local Maori. Paramount Chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Tumu Te Heuheu, says the venture is important for Maori participation in the new economy.

The proposal is for initial courses to be offered by Lake Taupo University College (LTUC) from 2002. Meanwhile foundation courses encouraging students to up-skill and focus their ambitions on a high tech university degree may be offered as early as 2001.

Professor Neil Quigley, Victoria University's Dean of Commerce and Administration says the agreement will promote educational opportunities both locally and nationally and Victoria will benefit from the alliance with the University of Limerick.

Professor Eammon McQuade of the University of Limerick says he's excited with the opportunities offered by this progressive partnership with Victoria and Lake Taupo. Of particular interest is the development of joint research and the ability to apply the University of Limerick's proven education and enterprise model in the Pacific region.

The next step involves working towards a formal joint venture agreement that will move the LTUC proposal forward.

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