Council: ‘Uni of Technology’ status for Unitec
19 May 2005
Council advocates ‘University of Technology’ status for Unitec
Waitakere Council continues to push for Unitec to obtain university status.
This week the council sent a submission to the Tertiary Education Commission strongly supporting Unitec’s application.
The submission said that Unitec’s application was made under the provisions of the Education Act in place in 1999, when there was no requirement for the Minister of Education to be “satisfied that the establishment of an institution is in the interests of the tertiary education system and the nation as a whole”.
Mayor Bob Harvey says the establishment of a “University of Technology” category of university is a way to strengthen the tertiary education system.
“This would provide a much-needed bridge between research-led universities and purely vocationally focused universities,” s.
The submission asserts that despite being the fifth largest city in New Zealand, Waitakere has until recently suffered from not having a tertiary institute. The city’s long term strategies show that access to education is a key issue for many of residents.
“Unitec plays a key role in the tertiary education system in two areas. Firstly, it has a key focus on providing pathways for educational development. That is, it has the ability to make education and vocational training accessible, and secondly, it provides a pathway to degree and post-graduate study,” says Mayor Harvey.
“In reality, Unitec already operates as a university of technology. Its research and degree and post-graduate programmes differentiate it from other polytechnics and make it very similar to the Auckland University of Technology, which has already been recognised as a university,” he says.