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Proposed New Tertiary Education Campus in Manukau

1 December 2005

- MIT Manukau Institute of Technology
- AUT AUT University
- MCC Manukau City Council

Proposed New Tertiary Education Campus in Manukau City Centre

A Collaboration between MIT, AUT and MCC

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) has had long term discussions with Manukau City Council (MCC) about the development of a new tertiary education campus right in the heart of Manukau City. The City Council has a strong ongoing relationship with MIT which culminated in the signing of a full Partnering Agreement on 22 August 2005.

MCC has offered MIT the opportunity to lead the development of a tertiary education facility in the Manukau City Centre, with AUT University (AUT) as the prime university partner in this collaboration. The senior management of MIT and AUT have developed a joint discussion paper for further consideration by their respective staff and Council, and also for MCC.

The discussion paper proposes that the campus starts up in 2007 with some 500 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) and moving to a permanent site in association with the City Council as soon as possible. Development of the campus will be driven by the education and skills needs of New Zealand’s fastest growing city. The long term vision for this campus is that it will ultimately develop into a 15,000 EFTS facility by 2050, when Counties Manukau is projected to have a population of 400,000. As the campus grows, it will become a pivotal part of a vibrant new city centre for Manukau.

This is a long term vision of the development of the metropolis of the greater Auckland region and Manukau city centre. It addresses the role that a comprehensive range of tertiary education provision may have in enhancing economic and community development.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says, “There’s a great need for more education options for our young people. Education is the key to a better future and there will be a close alignment between the skills and qualifications of the graduates and the needs of our City’s business community.

“This facility will be great for the city centre as it will bring a totally new atmosphere. Students add life and a ‘buzziness’ wherever they are and I’m looking forward to the impact they’ll have. It’ll transform the city centre. They’ll also be spending money, and I expect the campus will bring in millions of dollars a year to our local economy.”

The three parties (MIT/AUT/MCC) have agreed in principle to enter a formal period of joint discussions, feasibly study and analysis including a joint management and academic planning group.

A workshop will be held to allow Manukau City councillors to have input into planning for the facility.

The University of Auckland, which has partnership agreements with both MIT and AUT, will continue to deliver academic programmes in conjunction with MIT and looks forward to working with the new collaborative arrangements.

This proposal is based upon synergy and relevance to the Manukau community in terms of sustainable economic development and a skilled workforce. It is an example of co-operation and collaboration in the tertiary sector.

The initiative of widening participation and opportunities to the Manukau community is contributing to addressing the under-representation in tertiary education, especially in career relevance to the local and regional economy.

Proposed New Campus in Manukau City Centre - A Collaboration between MIT, AUT and MCC

Frequently asked questions about the proposal:

1. Is this a proposal for a new university?
Not at all. This is a proposal for the collaborative development of a new tertiary facility between MIT and AUT, not a new entity.

2. How will this proposed project impact on the current activity within each institution?
The proposal envisages business as usual for any teaching department within the two institutions. This venture will present opportunities for added growth. We would expect that attention will have to be given to maximising credit transfer opportunities between programmes of the two institutions as some of the provision in the new site at least may be bridging or transfer programmes offering further opportunities for study at either MIT or AUT. Other collaborations between departments will be driven by opportunities as they arise.

3. Will AUT compete with MIT’s present programmes?
There is an ongoing commitment by MIT and AUT not to do so. In essence, at the new campus MIT will only offer pre-degree programmes and AUT will only offer degree and postgraduate programmes. Furthermore AUT will not offer degrees directly competing with MIT’s existing Otara provision.

4. Who will make decisions about the academic portfolio to be offered at the new campus?
Decisions will be made by the Joint Management Group for the new campus to be established by the two institutions. Their decisions will be informed by a Joint Academic Planning Group. Staff will be encouraged to contribute to the development process.

5. How does this proposal impact on the relationships both organisations have with The University of Auckland?
MIT, AUT and The University of Auckland see this partnership as complementing the existing partnerships among them. University of Auckland academic programmes delivered at the MIT Otara Campus will continue to be offered. The University of Auckland wishes to work with MIT and AUT in enhancing educational opportunities for students in Manukau.

6. Why a start up of 500 EFTS?
This figure was largely chosen as a “we are here to stay” message for the people of Manukau City. The target signals our commitment to the city and, we believe it to be achievable. Five hundred EFTS represents an intake with sufficient critical mass to enable the development of a campus identity immediately.

7. Does this proposal represent real growth for MIT and AUT?
MIT is likely to contribute 300 EFTS worth of pre-degree programming in the start up phase. There is a possibility that initially a proportion of this may not be real growth. The risk of MIT splitting its own market will be evaluated carefully in the development of the academic portfolio for the city centre. Medium term demographics suggest that this proposal will represent real growth for both institutions. As part of this development AUT has already signalled it would be keen to explore the possibility of MIT staff contributing to the delivery of their degrees at the city centre site.

AUT also considers that the proposal is a real opportunity for growth, in particular for bringing a more comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate provision to New Zealand’s fastest growing city and the staircasing, joint academic planning opportunities with MIT.

8. Why can’t AUT and MIT do this on MIT’s Otara Campus?
Manukau City Council sees a substantial tertiary presence including undergraduate and postgraduate provision as a pivotal part of the development of a new and vibrant city centre. The City Council see this development as an integral part of what they want the City of Manukau to become over the next 50 years. If we don’t take this opportunity someone else (not necessarily New Zealand TEIs) will.

9. Do we need a full range of qualification provision in the Manukau City Centre?
The City of Manukau will double in population over the next 50 years. International benchmarks indicate that a centre with a population of 400,000 would normally have its own campus offering a full range of qualifications as part of the spectrum of tertiary provision. In our view it is inevitable that this will come about. If this proposal is accepted by all parties then MIT and AUT can offer each other a collaborative opportunity with the full support of MCC.

10. How will this project enhance the educational and training opportunities for all Manukau’s communities?
This new campus development will make both degree and pre-degree level education and training more accessible to the people of Manukau. There is no intention as part of this development to diminish the range of provision at MIT’s existing campuses. This proposal seeks to increase the provision to meet the city’s expanding needs for tertiary education at all levels.

11. Is a plan for 15,000 EFTS by 2050 over ambitious?
Not for a city which will double in population over the next 50 years and with participation rates that inevitably will increase within that period to match the rest of New Zealand. Also the education and training needs of each citizen working in a knowledge based economy are likely to increase.

12. Are there international models for what we propose?
Many metropolises similar to the greater Auckland region will have a world class research-led university, comparable to The University of Auckland and a second university which is a research informed vocational teaching university, comparable to AUT. Collaborations between a vocational university and a polytechnic style institution are now quite common in OECD countries.
These collaborations work best when the partnerships are based on mutual respect and each treats the other as an equal.

ENDS

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