Since 1995, the region has recognised the importance of having a university in Tauranga and has worked actively with the University of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to ensure this is delivered. University teaching, research and commercialisation activities are shown internationally to make strong contributions to a region's economic development.
The University of Waikato has offered papers in Tauranga since before 1990 and has worked with the polytechnic since at least 1995; this has allowed students to complete diplomas at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and then transfer into University of Waikato degree programmes.
Formal links through the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership
In 2006 a Deed of Co-operation between the pair was signed, formalising the arrangement and making it the first university-polytechnic collaboration in New Zealand focused on developing pathways and up-skilling the region.
This Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership was expanded in 2010 to bring in Whakatane-based Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, and then in 2013 Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua also joined.
Under the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, all of the institutions bring a unique focus and contribution to help foster and retain talent in the region. Together they teach thousands of students across the wider Bay of Plenty.
Support from the region for the campus development
Key regional agencies such as Priority One, SmartGrowth and Tauranga City Council have worked actively with the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership to ensure a University-led campus can be established in the Tauranga CBD. The project has been flagged in many regional planning documents including the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Intentions Strategy 2014 – 2019.
Tauranga City Council agreed in 2012 in principle to provide land in Durham St for the new campus. The site is currently a car park but by 2020 will have been transformed into the new campus.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council made a decision in August 2013 that it would provide conditional funding of $15 million from its Regional Infrastructure Fund.
Then in July 2014, the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust agreed to fund $15 million to ensure the expansion of tertiary education in their region.
Formal signing of the Heads of Agreement for the campus development
These three funders signed a Heads of Agreement for the project with the University of Waikato (as the legal entity on behalf of the partnership) at the end of May 2015. That Heads of Agreement has all the conditions of funding and milestone requirements for the project. The three funders have also established the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust to hold the assets being provided on behalf of the region.
A timeline of the history of the University, the partnership and the project
The University of Waikato offers papers in Tauranga
The University of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic establish articulation agreements whereby students who have completed diplomas at the Polytechnic can transfer into University degree programmes.
Guaranteed credit arrangements enable students in Polytechnic diploma programmes to complete University degrees.
Presentation to the University of Waikato by the Western Bay of Plenty University Action Committee for the establishment of a campus in the Bay of Plenty
484 students (283 EFTS) in University of Waikato degree and postgraduate programmes in the Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato sponsor an investigation to establish the most cost-effective and academically appropriate model of tertiary education provision for the Tauranga region
The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato formalise their collaborative activity by signing a Deed of Cooperation and establishing the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership
Initial investment concepts for a University campus are presented to Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi joins the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership
870 students (609 EFTS) in University of Waikato degree and postgraduate programmes in the Bay of Plenty
Tauranga City Council conditionally agrees to provide land in Durham Street
An estimated 755 students (520 EFTS) in Bay of Plenty Polytechnic diploma programmes with guaranteed credit into University of Waikato degrees
Bay of Plenty Regional Council conditionally agrees to contribute up to $15 million of Regional Infrastructure Funds
Waiariki Institute of Technology joins the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership
Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust conditionally agrees to contribute up to $15 million for the campus development
The Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust is established to hold regional contribution of land and funds
A Heads of Agreement is signed between the University of Waikato, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council and Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust
Greenstone Group is appointed as Project Manager, Design and Build
A Development Contract for the design and construction of the new campus is signed by the University of Waikato and the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust
Design concept to be approved
Construction of stage one to commence
Campus to open to students