The Eastern Institute of Technology and Tairāwhiti Polytechnic are consulting staff on plans to merge the two institutions.
The consultation follows agreement in principle between the Councils of the two institutions for a merger that would take effect from next year.
EIT chief executive Chris Collins said the merger would bring together the best of both organisations, ensure the sustainable delivery of tertiary education in Tairāwhiti, and allow EIT to continue to grow and prosper.
“The merger will deliver significant educational and economic benefits to the staff, students and the local communities of the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast regions.”
Mr Collins said the merger was a logical next step in the steady growth of EIT, which started out as Hawke’s Bay Community College in 1974 and became Hawke’s Bay Polytechnic in 1986. The Eastern Institute of Technology was created in 1996, offering its first undergraduate degree in 1996 and then first Master’s degree in 2002.
Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Judy Campbell said one of the drivers of the merger was the threat of closure of Tairāwhiti Polytechnic.
“The proposed merger ensures the sustainability of polytechnic-type education in our region, and will bring lasting educational benefits to students, the region’s workforce and to employers.
“The merger will also provide significant benefits to Māori with EIT already a high performing institute in terms of educational success among Māori students,” Ms Campbell said.
Under the merger proposal, EIT would take primary responsibility for tertiary education provision to the Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay regions and continue to offer the best programmes from each institute.
While the Councils of the two institutes have agreed in principle to the merger, final structural decisions have not been made. Detailed planning is underway to identify the best approach for implementing the proposed merger.
Consultation with staff would help shape the merger plans, Mr Collins and Ms Campbell said. “Ultimately the decision to merge rests with the Minister of Tertiary Education however this process allows Councils to make a recommendation to him.”
Detailed planning is underway to identify the best approach for implementing the proposed merger.
Submissions from staff will be accepted until 13 November 2010.