Mergers of Colleges of Education approved

  • Michael Cullen
Tertiary Education

The mergers of the remaining two Colleges of Education with two universities are to go ahead from next year, Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

The mergers, which have been in train for the last 18 months, will see the Dunedin College of Education become part of Otago University while Christchurch College of Education will merge with the University of Canterbury.

"The decision follows six weeks of public consultation on each of the mergers and will take effect from 1 January 2007," said Dr Cullen.

"The Education Act requires that there are good reasons behind merging two institutions and must be in the interest of the tertiary education system and the country as a whole. I believe that both mergers meet these criteria.

"The mergers will mean from next year most teacher training will be undertaken in a university environment which will ensure greater resourcing and consistency in training and therefore better outcomes for the education system.

"A total of 41 submissions were received, the majority of which support the mergers,” Dr Cullen said. "While a number of concerns were also raised, I am convinced that these have been addressed by the institutions involved."

The government will provide $14.5 million to cover transition costs for the institutions.

Dr Cullen said the mergers would develop excellence in teacher education by:

  • Enhancing the capability of the colleges and universities to meet national education priorities
  • Creating world-class centres for teacher education research which will underpin and support educational policy and development
  • Creating new partnerships between people involved in professional practice, training and research
  • Ensure consistency in terms of teacher education.

"The mergers reinforce what we are trying to achieve with the current tertiary education reforms. We want a more efficient and effective tertiary system focusing on quality that will ensure better results for students, employers and the community at large," Dr Cullen said.