Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Honorary doctorate for AUT luminary

Honorary doctorate for AUT luminary

The man credited with gaining university status for AUT University is being awarded an honorary doctorate from the same institution.

Dr John Hinchcliff, CNZM, will receive the accolade at the University’s graduation ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall 2.30pm tomorrow, Wednesday March 22.

It recognises Dr Hinchcliff’s outstanding contribution to transforming the Auckland Institute of Technology (AIT) academically, structurally and legally into an accessible university of national and international repute.

He says being awarded the doctorate is an unexpected honour.

Dr Hinchcliff, Auckland City Councillor for Tamaki/Maungakiekie, joined Auckland Technical Institute (ATI) in 1984 as principal and retired 20 years later as vice chancellor of New Zealand’s newest university, AUT.

During this time Dr Hinchcliff saw the institution change substantially in name, size and vision.

In 1984 he inherited a cash-strapped ATI at a time when tertiary education was becoming more vocationally-focused. Under his leadership students and staff numbers nearly doubled and Maori gained visibility with the establishment of the Faculty of Maori Development, Te Ara Poutama, and AUT’s campus marae. AUT’s ongoing commitment to international partnerships also began, with an agreement with Shanghai College of Light Industry in 1986.

Dr Hinchcliff says when he started as principal, ATI was under the control of the education authorities and could not award degrees.

“It wasn’t until the Education Amendment Act (1989) that AIT gained autonomy. It was hugely welcomed and meant we could confer degrees. Our students were on the same footing as others who gained degrees from other institutions.”

In 1999 an international panel determined that AIT met the criteria to become a university. The NZQA agreed and AIT was awarded university status at midnight on January 1 of the new millennium – significant timing, says Dr Hinchcliff.

He acknowledges AUT University’s continuing commitment to learning that is different to the traditional universities.

“We wanted student-centred, outcome-focussed, employment-orientated learning. We engaged a practical approach, balancing acquiring theory with practical application.”

To Dr Hinchcliff, the students were always the central motivation.

“In 20 years, my greatest highlight was getting the students an education that enabled them to find meaningful futures.”

Dr Hinchcliff received his PhD from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey (US) in 1969.

In 2003, he was appointed Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION