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Consultation begins on proposed merger

6 August 2004

Consultation begins on proposed merger

Education Minister Trevor Mallard and Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey today announced the start of consultation on the proposed merger of Wellington College of Education and Victoria University of Wellington from 1 January 2005.

"Public submissions on the proposal are now invited. The proposal suggests that a merger would protect and enhance the teacher education currently being provided by the two institutions. They entered into a strategic alliance in 2001 with the view that they would eventually merge. Our government is committed to lifting the quality of teachers as high quality teaching plays has a positive impact on how students perform at school," Trevor Mallard said.

Steve Maharey said that under the two institutions strategic alliance, the college disbanded its three year Bachelor of Education in favour of a four year university degree such as a BSc, BCA, or BA with a Bachelor of Teaching. Those programmes already have 308 students enrolled at Victoria, with college staff teaching the BTeach component.

“The college says it can’t graduate world class teachers unless its students gain specialist subject knowledge, as well as strong teaching skills and that only the university provides the concentration of specialist knowledge.

“A merger will also enable the college to extend its research capability significantly with the support of Victoria's internationally distinguished researchers,” Steve Maharey said.

An overview document has been prepared by the two institutions summarising the key features of the proposal. Copies may be obtained from either institution or from their web sites www.vuw.ac.nz or www.wce.ac.nz.

Ministers hope to make a decision in October to minimise any uncertainty for staff and students. Submissions should be received by the Tertiary Education Commission by 17 September 2004. They should be addressed to Ms Jennifer Robbins, Manager, Sector Development, Tertiary Education Commission, PO Box 27-048, Wellington.

ENDS

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