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Partnership to benefit Tokoroa tertiary students

Partnership to benefit Tokoroa tertiary students

Waiariki Institute of Technology and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa have joined forces to provide a single tertiary learning facility in Tokoroa.

The two parties signed an agreement in December to share the existing Te Wānanga o Aotearoa campus for the benefit of tertiary students in Tokoroa, and there was an official opening ceremony at the Ashworth Street facility today (Friday, March 28).

The joint venture aims to make tertiary education a priority for Tokoroa and to create pathways between the offerings of the two institutions.

Approximately 130 locals studying through Waiariki are now attending classes in a wing of the campus with some facilities – such as kitchens for catering and hospitality classes, a conference room and a dining room – being shared by students and staff from both institutes. Waiariki also has around 50 students in Tokoroa studying at its hair salon in the township and its trade training centre at Braeside.

There are currently almost 200 students studying through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Tokoroa.

Waiariki Institute of Technology Chief Executive Professor Margaret Noble says Te Pūtahi ki Te Kaokaoroa o Pātetere, Tokoroa Tertiary Learning Centre will provide a better learning environment for students and an opportunity to develop pathways between the two organisations’ qualifications.

“It allows a comprehensive approach to tertiary education in Tokoroa where we offer qualifications at different levels but where there is synergy in what we are doing,” she says.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Director of Delivery Turi Ngatai says the collaboration enhances the educational offering for the people of Tokoroa and the South Waikato.

“We have many years of experience in serving the people of Tokoroa and the South Waikato. We welcome Waiariki wānanga sharing our facilities and in doing so, further expanding the educational opportunities available to the people of this community.”

Waiariki's regional development manager for Tokoroa/Taupo, Maree Kendrick, is excited by the collaboration, which she says is focussed on community transformation through education.

"We are looking forward to launching a new journey and putting a stake in the ground in the heart of this community."

The location has been named Te Pūtahi ki Te Kaokaoroa o Pātetere, Tokoroa Tertiary Learning Centre and is located at 71 Ashworth Street.

Waiariki offers courses in vocational skills, te reo Māori, early childhood education, computing, community and social services, agriculture and farm maintenance, culinary arts, café operations, carpentry, automotive and engineering, hairdressing, creative arts, forest operations, foundation learning, tertiary teaching, and health, disability and aged support.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offers courses in rongoa Māori, sports leadership, Youth Guarantee Sports Fitness and Health, computing, Te Putaketanga o Te Reo Māori, and foundational forestry and harvesting.

Representatives from both Waiariki and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa attended today's (Friday March 28) opening ceremony.


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