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BOP Polytechnic joins Memorandum of Understanding with Waikato

21 May 2010

Roy Crawford

Strong partnerships: Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford.

An agreement aimed at health sector improvements in the Bay of Plenty has been widened to include Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

An existing Memorandum of Understanding between the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and the University of Waikato was updated this month to incorporate the Polytechnic. The agreement is designed for the parties to talk about developing and delivering health and healthcare related teaching, and considering possible research related to the sector.

The District Health Board has already established the Bay of Plenty Clinical School to provide for the continuous professional development of its staff, which ultimately leads to improved quality of health care, and better staff recruitment and retention.

Clinical School Head Peter Gilling says the collaboration will be a further mechanism to help ensure that the health workforce in the Bay of Plenty region is sufficient to serve the ever-expanding population. He is looking forward to strengthening these relationships over time.

Dr Alan Hampton, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Chief Executive, says “We’ve been successfully working in partnership with the University of Waikato for more than a decade to ensure better tertiary education opportunities for our region. This new strategic partnership with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board will see other fresh opportunities arise to ensure the provision of a health work force which meets the requirements of the population and communities of our region into the future.”

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the expansion of the agreement is further evidence of the strong partnerships in the Bay region. “And the region obviously recognises the comprehensive opportunities that arise through having a top university and polytechnic involved in the planning and delivery of education.”

The University and Polytechnic recently partnered with economic development organisation Priority One to commission a study looking at the tertiary education needs of the Bay of Plenty for the next 10 years. It had a particular focus on science and research, and used demographic and business information when considering the drivers of future needs.

The study found there were opportunities for higher level tertiary training and research in several sectors that would strengthen the region’s competitive advantages. These included health, science-based studies (including food processing, horticulture, aquaculture and powder metallurgy), logistics and supply chain management, marine and environmental sustainability, information and communications technology and tourism.

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