Why do the four institutes really want this partnership?
The institutes are already recognising Increased opportunities for collaboration in research and the ability to provide enhanced pathways for students from certificates, diplomas to degrees as a benefit of the Partnership. The institutes recognise that combining their expertise and skills will help to develop new regionally relevant programmes. One of the first projects for the Partnership is the new campus in Tauranga.
The Wānanga, Polytechnic, Institute of Technology, and University believe the CBD campus offers economies of scale, opportunity to develop the CBD campus that may not have been possible, better options to work together to profile the region as an education destination, and because it provides University styled facilities that everyone will benefit from.
Why is the University of Waikato partnering in the Bay of Plenty?
The University of Waikato has been undertaking research and teaching activity in the Bay of Plenty for more than ten years. It has had a jointly branded campus with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic since the formal signing of the Partnership deed in 2006. The University believes the region will benefit from a University led tertiary campus and that the University of Waikato, given the location of the Hamilton campus and the existing relationships with the region, is best placed to provide this.
Is this just about the wider Tauranga area?
The Partnership already delivers to the tertiary education needs of students, business and the community across the Bay of Plenty. However the campus needs to be located somewhere and the centre with the highest population makes most sense.
Why build in the CBD and not somewhere else like Windemere?
The Partnership has worked closely with community partners and stakeholders, including SmartGrowth, Tauranga City Council and Priority One. These groups see the creation of a university led tertiary campus in the CBD as an important contributor to a strong and vibrant city centre, enabling opportunities for further investment, economic development and better public spaces that will benefit the wider region.
A number of potential sites have been considered but the Tauranga CBD is the most appropriate for the medium to long term needs of the institutions. Modern tertiary delivery centres around community integration and a CBD location is also attractive to today’s students (international and domestic) who benefit because of their easy access to other amenities such as retail, hospitality and financial services.
Student numbers are currently capped by the Government. How will the new campus be populated?
The Tertiary Education Commission has demonstrated its support for the region already by providing additional student places to the University of Waikato for provision in Tauranga. Some Bay of Plenty Polytechnic EFTS at Windermere etc. may move to the new campus too.
Why is the region being asked to fund this campus and not the involved institutions or the government?
The Partnership institutions are contributing significantly to the capital cost of the campus development ($55m). In addition, they will be funding the on-going development and operational costs associated with tertiary provision at the new campus.
The Government’s current priorities preclude it from providing capital funding for the new campus. A partnership between the tertiary institutions and the region is required to lift the level of tertiary provision and skills.
Economic development is not the job of local government so why would the regional council fund this initiative?
In the Local Government Amendment Act Bill, the Bill introduces a new purpose statement for local government. This new purpose is “to meet the current and future needs of communities for good quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.”
The development of tertiary education and research provision aligned to regional need goes far beyond economic development. Good quality tertiary education and research underpins a community’s social and environmental development, as well as its economic sustainability. With this in mind, the region’s business and civic leaders believe that the Partnership plays a key role not only in assisting the region meet its future skill needs, but in helping underpin the social, cultural and environmental fabric of a growing region.
© 2015 BAY OF PLENTY TERTIARY EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP