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Preliminary Decision On Massey/ACE Merger

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has made a preliminary decision to decline an application by Massey University and Auckland College of Education to merge.

Trevor Mallard said the institutions have until 2 October to respond to his preliminary view before a final decision was made.

“Having considered the educational benefits, I am not convinced at this stage that they are persuasive enough to justify a merger rather than the development of a closer working relationship between Massey University and Auckland College of Education

“I want to make it quite clear that the matter is still open, but Massey University and Auckland College of Education would have to show me that any proposed merger will provide sufficient educational benefits for me to change my preliminary view.

"Since February 2000, Massey University, the College, and the Government have been exploring ways in which the merger case could be improved, and some improved educational benefits have been suggested.

"However, to date, the additional information supplied to me does not indicate that the educational benefits to the tertiary sector are positive enough to justify approving a merger.

"Moreover, there is a risk that the merger could significantly disadvantage the remaining Colleges of Education by altering their strategic operating environment.

“A consideration has been that the proposal does not seem to enhance the development of a collaborative approach between teacher education providers, and therefore does not readily accord with government policy,” Trevor Mallard said.

Under s164 of the Education Act 1989, the Councils of two institutions can agree to merge and then apply for the Minister for approval of the merger. The Act gives the Minister the discretion to determine what amounts to good reasons for approving a merger.

Ends

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