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College of Education and Uni Councils seek merger

26 May 2004

Wellington College of Education and Victoria University of Wellington Councils seek to merge

A century of co-operation will be cemented by a merger now sought by the Councils of the Wellington College of Education and Victoria University of Wellington.

The College Council agreed to a merger last night (25 May), and the University Council passed a similar resolution this morning (26 May). The Chancellor and Chair of the two Councils will write to the Minister of Education requesting disestablishment of the Wellington College of Education and incorporation into Victoria University of Wellington. Education officials will assess the merger proposal and advise on any further consultation process. The merger, if approved by the Minister, is intended to take effect from 1 January 2005.

Both institutions had sought the advice of their respective Academic Boards with both Boards strongly supporting the merger. The two institutions entered into a strategic alliance in 2001 with the view that it would in all likelihood eventually lead to a merger.

“A merger between our two institutions would secure for future generations the significant gains we have already made in achieving the shared vision of teacher education that is connected to subject knowledge, teaching practice and teaching research,” said Wellington College of Education Principal, Dugald Scott.

Under the existing strategic alliance, the College 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 already provides a range of administrative services to the College under a series of Service Level Agreements and the merger transition is expected to be relatively seamless in these areas.

“Under the merger, College staff would be able to extend their research capability significantly with the support of Victoria's internationally distinguished researchers,” said Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University. “In return, Victoria University would benefit from the closer connection made possible with the compulsory schooling and early childhood sectors, as well as benefit from an increase in Mâori student enrolments.”

Victoria University would establish a College of Education consisting of six Schools and a Faculty of Education to oversee the academic programmes taught by the Schools. The current Karori Campus will be retained as one of the University’s four campuses. Issued by Victoria University of Wellington Public Affairs.

ENDS

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