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College of Education & Victoria Proposed Merger

Proposed merger between Wellington College of Education and Victoria University of Wellington

A century of co-operation may be cemented by a merger between the Wellington College of Education and Victoria University of Wellington.

Following consideration of a merger business case by the College Council last Tuesday (27 April), the possibility moved a step closer today with the University Council also agreeing to seek the advice of its Academic Board on the academic implications of the merger proposal.

The two institutions entered into a strategic alliance in 2001 with the view that it would eventually lead to a merger.

Both institutions have co-operated in developing a detailed business case outlining the benefits to both institutions. The business case claims that a merger will cement in place the significant gains the two institutions have made in achieving the shared vision of teacher education which is connected to subject knowledge, teaching practice and teaching research.

Under the existing strategic alliance, the Wellington College of Education has been the first to disband the three year Bachelor of Education in favour of a four year University degree such as a BSc, BCA, or BA with a Bachelor of Teaching. Those programmes already have 257 students enrolled at Victoria with College staff teaching the BTeach component.

The University provides a range of administrative services to the College under a series of Service Level Agreements.

The business case suggests that the College will be able to extend its research capability significantly with the support of Victoria's internationally distinguished researchers and that Victoria University will benefit from the closer connection made possible with the compulsory schooling and early childhood sectors.

Both Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University and Dugald Scott, Principal of the Wellington College of Education stressed that input from their respective academic boards is now required, prior to Councils making a decision on the merits of the business case.

The Wellington College of Education Council will seek the advice of its Academic Board at a Special Meeting on 12 May and the College Council will meet on 25 May to consider that advice and whether it wishes to formally seek, with the University, ministerial approval to disestablish the College and merge with the University.

Similarly the University Council has now referred the matter to its Academic Board for advice and there will be a special meeting of the University's Academic Board on 19 May for this purpose.

The University Council will meet on 26 May to consider the advice of the University's Academic Board and whether it wishes to proceed with the merger.

If all parties agree to the merger proposal, education officials will assess the merger proposal and advise on any further consultation process. Should the merger proposal be supported, Government approval is not anticipated until later in the year. A merger, if approved, is likely to commence from 1 January 2005.

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