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Victoria and College welcome merger decision

Monday 15 November 2004

Victoria and College welcome merger decision

Victoria University and the Wellington College of Education have welcomed the Government's decision to allow them to merge as a further step towards their joint vision of working together to develop great teachers.

The Minister of Education, the Hon Trevor Mallard, an alumnus of both the College and University, and the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) the Hon Steve Maharey, today announced the Government's approval of the merger effective from 1 January 2005. The merger will be formally approved by an Order in Council signed by Governor-General, the Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said the decision sealed the strategic partnership that both the University and College committed to in 2001. The merger follows a request to the Minister by the Councils of both institutions to merge.

“We are delighted that together we can now focus on delivering research-led teaching that provides a broader academic preparation for students and elevates teacher education to the status it deserves.

“Any aspirations that New Zealand has towards being a knowledge society depend crucially on the quality of education at all levels. A university-educated teaching profession, informed by quality teaching practice, is much better placed to deliver on this.”

College Principal Dugald Scott, who will become the University's first Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), said the decision was a historic step as mergers had been discussed many times in the last half-century. From the day Victoria opened its doors in 1899, the two institutions have been strongly linked with the first lecturers in education, and indeed the first two Professors in Education, also being Principals of the College.

“It seems only fitting that as we take this next exciting step in merging with Victoria, we will also celebrate 125 years of developing great teachers next year.

“Since 2001, the University and the College have been pursuing a shared vision of developing highly competent teachers with the ability to make a positive difference to the lives of the children they teach. We are setting the standard for teacher education in New Zealand through our new shared qualifications."

"By merging we will be able to provide greater scope and depth to teaching qualifications; widen the range of advice and support for beginning and experienced teachers; and provide greater opportunities for cross-disciplinary, collaborative research that will inform teacher education."

The merger will create a University of more than 20,000 students and about 3,000 staff spread across four campuses and several satellite sites throughout the greater Wellington region. In addition, more than 5,400 teachers will benefit from additional post-experience training and development opportunities provided under contract to the Ministry of Education.

The enlarged University will include a new Faculty of Education that will oversee the degrees and diplomas awarded by it, as well as a new College of Education, consisting of four Schools. They will be:

- School of Education Studies
- School of Early Childhood Teacher Education
- School of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education
- Te Kura Mâori

ENDS

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