Mon 26 Mar 2012

University Studies without Leaving Home

A trip down memory lane reveals some interesting facts.

The collaboration really gained momentum in 1990 when Hemi Flavell, these days better known as Te Ururoa Flavell, the Maori Party Member of Parliament for Waiariki, was appointed as Head of WITT’s newly created Maori Studies Department,  which was given a home at 9 Cracroft Street next to the creche.

There soon became  11 teaching departments in the polytechnic:

  • Accountancy/Management
  • Agriculture/Horticulture and General Studies
  • Applied Art and Design 
  • Applied Science and Technology Building and Allied Trades Community Studies
  • Engineering
  • Human Sciences
  • Maori Studies
  • Nursing and Health Studies
  • Office Systems

As the only tertiary institute in the region,Taranaki Polytechnic had begun to recognise that its community needs and interests could not be met entirely from its own education resources.  Co-operation, articulation and agreements with other institutions,especially universities, were then possible with greater academic freedom.

In 1991 the Taranaki Polytechnic made history when it offered the country's first joint Polytechnic-University pilot scheme to teach the first year papers of the University of Waikato's Bachelor of Science (Technology) Degree and the University's Certificate in Maori Studies,and later that year, the Unitec Certificate in Womens Studies.

There were other benefits, with Taranaki Polytechnic's two-year National Certificate in Business Studies counting as two years of Waikato's four-year Bachelor of Management Studies Degree.

Massey University also came on board that year with credits for Taranaki Polytechnic's National Certificate in Business Studies counting towards their Bachelor of Business Studies,the first year papers of which were also offered in New Plymouth.

It was agreed as well that Taranaki Polytechnic’s Commercial Horticulture course would double as the practical requirement for Massey's Degree in Horticulture. In addition Taranaki Polytechnic's three year Trade Certificate in Farming and the two-year part-time Farm Business Management course would count as three months credit towards Massey's Diploma in Agriculture.

There were a lot more examples of the co-operation;

Taranaki Polytechnic began to teach Waikato University's Unitech Certificate in Sport and Recreation. In 1993 the Polytechnic began teaching Canterbury University's Bachelor of Engineering Intermediate Year programme, and the first year of TeTohu Paetahi- Waikato University's Bachelor of Arts Degree in Maori Language.

In 1994 Massey University’s first year papers in the Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) and Bachelor of Social Work were also offered.

It was a period of great growth, with numerous other significant programme developments. A two year pilot Engineering Trades Traineeship course began in August 1989 and that same year Taranaki Polytechnic conducted the country's first gas engineering course.

Today WITT still  offers :