The four Partners cutting the celebratory cake: from left, Dr Alan Hampton – CEO Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Professor Margaret Noble – CEO Waiariki Institute of Technology, Distinguished Professor Graham Smith – CEO Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Professor Roy Crawford – Vice-Chancellor University of Waikato.
Waiariki Institute of Technology has joined the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, heralding a new era of educational collaboration and more opportunities for Bay of Plenty students.
The Tertiary Partnership, which also includes Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato, provides a unique collaborative approach to tertiary education provision in the Bay of Plenty. The first of its kind in New Zealand, the Tertiary Partnership works with the region by providing increased local tertiary education options and providing education in the areas identified, for the region to achieve long-term sustained growth.
New educational opportunities
Waiariki already works closely with each of the other three institutions on a number of teaching and research projects. The Tertiary Partnership will strengthen these initiatives as well as provide new educational opportunities for Bay of Plenty people in a bid to meet the needs of a rapidly growing region.
There are 271,248 people in the Bay of Plenty now, estimated to reach 403,000 by 2051, of which the highest growth will be in young Māori. Government data shows the region lags well behind the national average of 14.2% of people who have bachelordegree qualifications or higher. As a result, skill shortages will significantly impact the region’s ability to support its own economic growth.
Professor Roy Crawford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato and Chair of the Tertiary Partnership Executive was delighted Waiariki had joined the Partnership. “This enhances our ability to provide leadership in the creation of a seamless tertiary education system in New Zealand," he said.
Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Action Plan
Bill Wasley, Chair of the BOP Tertiary Partnership Steering Group indicated a priority for the Partnership this year is to support the development of a Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Action Plan, which will include a wide range of stakeholder input. The Partnership will also continue to develop plans for a Tauranga-based city centre tertiary campus.
Waiariki Chief Executive Professor Margaret Noble believes the strength in working collaboratively in knowledge sharing, initiatives, research and other projects will produce a “whole of Bay of Plenty focus” and support for the wider region.
“By collaborating we can raise the profile of Bay of Plenty-wide tertiary education and with the help of our stakeholders we can shape the way to go forward and improve access to learning,” said Professor Noble.
Wider regional approach
Chair of the BOP Tertiary Education Steering Group Bill Wasley acknowledged the significance of the extended partnership which he said will promote a wider regional approach to tertiary programming and research delivery.
“This tertiary collaborative arrangement, supported by a range of regional agencies, bodes well for future development of the region and its communities,” says Mr Wasley.
The principal aims of the Partnership are to:
- Provide better services to students in the Bay of Plenty region through working collaboratively to complement and add value to each other’s capabilities, and creating enhanced opportunities for students to access tertiary education.
- Work for the benefit of the region through provision of quality education and research, thereby contributing to the improved regional economic performance.
- Retain graduate talent in the region.
- Support and grow development in the Māori community through improved levels of participation and success in tertiary education.