The Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership is the integration of a well-performing polytechnic, an institute of technology and the country’s leading wānanga with university-level opportunities provided by arguably New Zealand’s most forward-looking, bicultural and essentially New Zealand-style university.

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Waiariki Institute of Technology and the University of Waikato make up the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership (“the Partnership”).

Working with regional groups such as Priority One and SmartGrowth, the Partnership was developed to enhance tertiary education offerings to the Bay of Plenty region. While the four institutions remain autonomous, they look for opportunities to work together to provide pathways to higher education, increase the range of programmes, certificates, diplomas and degrees offered in the area, and combine on research with particular relevance to the region.

The outcome is something new in New Zealand tertiary education; Bay of Plenty could be said to be the first place in New Zealand to recognise the huge change that has occurred in tertiary education, which is rapidly becoming comprehensive and universal – no longer the preserve of an elite but the experience at some time in their lives of most younger Kiwis, Maori and pakeha.

Currently, the Partnership is working towards the development of a tertiary campus in the Tauranga CBD. Shared by all the partner institutions, it will provide a university campus experience for students and a nationally and internationally recognised Bay of Plenty hub for teaching, learning and research.