School principals are excited by some of the courses that will be on offer when the Tauranga university campus opens next year.
The University of Waikato was still finalising its prospectus but the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend can reveal some of the qualifications on offer.
Priority One strategic projects manager Greg Simmonds said that, at this stage, in 2019 there would be a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social Science, Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Social Work.
The university had been working closely over the years with ”organisations such as Priority One and SmartGrowth to understand the academic and research needs of local industry and the community”.
Simmonds said they would ensure the business community had input into, the courses and programmes that would be offered.
”The programmes offered here are both distinctive and meet the needs of employers and the community.”
Priority One had already hosted an event breakfast last year with Waikato management school dean Tim Coltman and dean of engineering Mark Dyer was tabled to speak on March 9.
Professor Dyer said the Bachelor of Engineering degree was designed to help promote innovation and creativity in the local economy, in light manufacturing and major infrastructure, on and offshore.
”There are already some exciting developments happening in the Bay of Plenty, Robotics Plus for example, and we look to complement that, and also extend our research programmes in the Bay.”
He expected 20 to 40 students in its first-year intake and potential career prospects were good.
”I think the potential is endless. We know there’s a skills shortage in engineering, not just in the Bay of Plenty but worldwide and we offer a full range of programmes, all IPENZ accredited civil, environmental, chemical and biological, electronic, materials and process, mechanical, and software.”
Otumoetai College principal Russell Gordon said the city had come of age and it was ”exciting on many levels”.
”We can now meet the educational needs of our young people from early childhood through to tertiary and postgraduate education, and this will help build the vibrancy of our town.
”This provides a fantastic opportunity for kids to stay and get these niche diplomas or degrees that they can apply straight back into our local and regional community, which is fantastic.”
Pathways were also being developed with the university and principals to ”encourage a disruption of the cycle of students leaving the area”.
Often students who moved out of the region were hit with obstacles including the price of accommodation and finding jobs once they had graduated.
Te Puke High School principal Alan Liddle said it was a great opportunity for students to gain university qualifications locally.
Tauranga Boys’ College principal Robert Mangan agreed and said it would enhance the appeal of Waikato University papers its Year 13 students could already do.
”It will significantly enhance the appeal for students to remain in Tauranga and continue to get their tertiary qualifications. You would also hope it will remove some of the barriers that have existed in tertiary studies previously as young men can stay at home if they choose to so that should decrease the financial cost.”
Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said a lot of the qualifications on offer were sought after in the job market.
”It will give people the skills to stay in the city and lifts the standard of living as these science, engineering, technology and engineering are usually well paid.”
Meanwhile, Sally Cooke from Downtown Tauranga said the campus would be a game changer for the city centre.
”It is exciting to see the development take shape and we can’t wait to see the additional student and faculty numbers in our city centre. The flow on effect to our city centre businesses will be significant.”
As the civic, cultural and commercial hub of our region the city centre was undergoing significant change.
”This development, along with several others, will contribute to an even more vibrant city centre that boasts increased amenities and offerings for all.
”Managing the city centre through the developments planned will need to be a focus for all stakeholders to ensure the disruption is mitigated, but the majority of our members welcome the sounds of construction and development as it shows the growing confidence and investment in our city centre.”
Undergraduate degrees 2019
• Bachelor of Business – a new three-year degree with strong links with local and regional business and a focus throughout on ‘leading through innovation and entrepreneurship.’
• Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) – year one starting in 2019 and year 4 starting in 2022 if sufficient demand. Strong marine (coast and ocean) infrastructure focus (unique in NZ), plus mechanical (mechatronics)
• Bachelor of Science – strong marine focus with majors in environmental science, ecology and biodiversity and a new major in aquaculture (unique in NZ) and subject to approval.
• Bachelor of Social Science
• Bachelor of Teaching
• Bachelor of Social Work
From 2019 post-graduate programmes
• Master of Information Technology
• Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance
• Master of Education
• Master of Educational Leadership – Source Priority One
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