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Otago University Advancement Campaign welcomed

Tuesday, 12 November 2002 Media Statement

Otago University Advancement Campaign welcomed

Dunedin North MP Pete Hodgson says the University of Otago's Advancement Campaign launched today is a promising move for the university and the New Zealand tertiary sector.

"I am very pleased to see such an innovative campaign coming out of Otago," Mr Hodgson said. "With its focus on investing in talent and building the capacity for a knowledge economy it appears to fit well with the government's objectives for the economy and the tertiary education sector."

The Advancement Campaign aims to provide new education opportunities for people from under-represented groups and to help lead New Zealand's development as a knowledge society. Key initiatives will be "trailblazer scholarships" and the appointment and funding of "knowledge leaders" to develop interdisciplinary research programmes. About 30 possible areas of research have been identified, ranging from diabetes research to film and media studies.

The campaign is seeking funding from the government's tertiary education "Partnerships for Excellence" framework. This can provide capital of $5 million or more for tertiary sector strategic developments, on condition that matching funds are secured from private sector partners. The intention is to promote public-private co-investment in tertiary education ventures, as suggested in the Government's Tertiary Education Strategy 2002-7.

The first grant made under the framework, announced last month, was for the University of Auckland's planned School of Business.

"I look forward to seeing the Advancement Campaign's business case," Mr Hodgson said. "I cannot presume what the outcome of the campaign's application will be, but at this stage I wish it well."


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