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Council merger first step in linking polytechs

Nov 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

COUNCIL PARTNERS: From left, WelTec CEO Linda Sissons, joint council chair Roger Sowry and Whitireia CEO Don Campbell.

WELLINGTON’S two polytechnics will operate under a joint council starting next year.

Whitireia Polytechnic and Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec)’s new council will begin on January 1 in a merger aimed at offering students a better idea of both institutes’ offerings.

The polytechnics will keep their own identity and character, according to a press release by tertiary education minister Steven Joyce.

“Mr Joyce’s approval of the merger is the first since new legislation for ITP [institutes of technology and polytechnics] governance was passed in 2009,” says the Minister’s statement.

The combined council is “an amalgamation of polytechnic governance, not a merger of the entities,” says Mr Joyce.

Whitireia CEO Don Campbell says the new council’s first meeting is expected before the end of the year, and will most likely consider a combined board of academics and plans for 2012.

“This is a long-term project for which a lot of useful groundwork has already been laid by staff from the two quite complementary institutions.”

Mr Campbell says this will mean greater clarity for students, with a better understanding of different qualifications and the ability to cross credit between institutions.

Polytechnic staff will work more closely with their colleagues at the other institute, and sharing staff or working at both polytechnics is a possibility.

“It will also provide potential for savings through combined purchasing across a range of activities with a combined budget of over $100m between the two institutions,” says Mr Campbell.

The combined council was one of five options recommended in a proposal entitled Students First published earlier this year that was the subject of public consultation over June and July.

The new council will start off with 12 members, six of whom have been chosen by Mr Joyce, lowering to 10 in 2013, then 8 the year after that.

Members will be:

  • Roger Sowry (Chair) –
  • Dr Alan Barker (Deputy Chair)
  • Suzanne Snively (Whitireia)
  • Dennis Sharman (Whitireia)
  • Peter Steel (Weltec)
  • Vaughan Renner (Weltec)
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