AUT history

1895-1913

1895

Auckland Technical School opens in a former cabinetmaking factory in Rutland Street with 137 students enrolled for night classes in vocational education and the trades.

1902

George George is appointed the school's first Director.

1905

In a triumph for colonial education, the school scores more exam passes than any of the larger technical schools in London. Expansion plans forge ahead with the purchase of land in Wellesley Street East.

1906

A day technical school opens. The institution is renamed Auckland Technical College.

1913

Minister of Education James Allen formally opens Seddon Memorial Technical College.

1914-1960

1922

George Park is appointed Director

1939

Seddon Memorial Technical College is now the largest school in New Zealand, with 4212 pupils, 59 full time staff and 93 part time staff.

1946

Horace Scott is appointed Principal and the college introduces a senior business course.

1957

Science students, under the guidance of Ron Waddell, make a television broadcast from a transmitter, three years before television is available in New Zealand homes.

1960

The college separates into two institutions — a technical high school and a polytechnic division headed by Roderick Keir.The Department of Education heralds the move as a “major turning point in the history of New Zealand’s technical education system”.

1961-1985

1963

The polytechnic division is renamed the Auckland Technical Institute and, under the Education Amendment Act 1963, is officially recognised as offering advanced vocational education.

1964

ATI finally marks its graduation to the tertiary sector with the relocation of the high school to Western Springs and the establishment of two boards of governors. Technical institutes are the fastest growing sector in tertiary education and ATI leads the way by introducing the country’s first full time technicians’ course, the New Zealand Certificate in Engineering.

1969

Cyril Maloy is appointed Principal. K Block opens.

1972

Ivan Moses is appointed Principal, with 800 full time students enrolled.

1973

ATI has nine departments within four newly established schools: engineering, science, arts and commerce. A fifth school — health and biological science — opens three years later.

1974

ATI is recognised as the country’s largest technical institute and, in a privilege rarely granted outside Great Britain, gains the right to run The City and Guilds of London Institute’s most advanced cookery course.

1979

ATI runs its first Maoritanga course, covering oral fluency, values and culture.

1980

Health science courses are transferred to ATI’s new campus at the former North Shore Teachers’ Training College in Northcote.

1984

John Hinchcliff is appointed Principal. Summer school commences.

1985

ATI celebrates its 25th birthday with an open day for the public and attracts extensive news media coverage.

1986-1993

1987

ATI Education Foundation is established and receives a $1.2 million donation from the Auckland Savings Bank Charitable Trust. Five hundred and fifty students apply for 225 places in the full time. National Certificate in Business Studies.

1988

As the Hawke Report sparks heated debate on funding for tertiary education, Auckland University recognises the ATI diploma and advanced diploma in physiotherapy as the equivalent of a Bachelor of Science degree.

1989

The Education Act marks a watershed year for polytechnics: providing long awaited autonomy and the right to confer degrees. To mark the occasion,  ATI becomes Auckland Institute of Technology (Te Whare Takiura o Tamaki Makau Rau — the house of learning of Tamaki, the much desired place).

1991

As bulk funding is introduced, the Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy) is approved and AIT becomes the first polytechnic authorised to award a degree qualification. Former Labour MP Phil Goff (re-elected in 1993) is appointed to the teaching staff of the new Diploma in Communication Studies, and in 1992 is joined by broadcaster Dr Brian Edwards and investigative journalist Pat Booth on the Bachelor of Communication Studies,the diploma’s successor.

1993

A group of nursing students becomes AIT’s first graduates to be awarded a degree — the Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing). The following year, AIT is the first polytechnic in New Zealand to offer the Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

1994-1999

1995

The Maori Exposition in Aotea Square celebrates Maori achievement. Pauline Kingi, a Harvard law graduate, is named the new council chair, becoming the first Maori and the first woman to hold the position since the institute moved into the tertiary sector.

1996

The new Hotel and Restaurant Studies building opens.

1997

AIT introduces honorary masters degrees and the first honoured is Joan Donley for her services to New Zealand midwifery. The AIT marae (Te Purengi)opens and the second Maori Exposition is a spectacular success.

1999

AIT celebrates record student numbers: 26,000 students enrolled, with 57 percent in full time study. The institute announces it will offer the Doctor of Philosophy. To celebrate its first graduation procession, 600 AIT graduates march proudly to Aotea Centre.

2000-2007

2000

AIT makes history as New Zealand’s first polytechnic to become a university, and renames itself AUT. Yachtsman Sir Peter Blake receives AUT’s first Honorary Doctorate.

2003

Dr Debbie Blake is honoured as AUT’s first PhD graduate, and fashion school students debut at New Zealand Fashion Week.

2004

Derek McCormack is appointed Vice-Chancellor.

2005

Academic staff shine on the world stage: Professor Sergei Gulyaev heads up New Zealand's part of the bid to host the worldwide digital radio telescope project, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA); and Associate Professor Welby Ings' short film Boy is shortlisted for the 2006 Academy Awards. The new Business School building opens and receives a number of industry awards for its design. The University’s publishing arm, AUT Media, is launched in a joint venture with Auckland publishing and design company HB Media.

2006

Political economist and former MP Dr Marilyn Waring joins the Institute for Public Policy.

2007

Derek McCormack establishes 60 Vice-Chancellor Doctoral Scholarships, each worth around $90,000. In the latest survey of the PBRF (Performance Based Research Funding), AUT receives the biggest improvement in research quality score of any university, up by 142 percent on 2003.

(PRIMARY SOURCE: Shaw, L.(2002). Learning for Life: The Origins of Auckland University of Technology. Auckland University of Technology.)

2007

AUT installs New Zealand’s first radio telescope, a 12m device near Warkworth, Rodney District.  It is a major step towards New Zealand's participation with Australia in the international, mega-science project, the Square Kilometre Array.

2008-2010

 

2008

AUT Rookie fashion show moves to St Pauls Church, Symonds Street, Auckland City after five years at New Zealand Fashion week, and becomes an independent event.

2009

Maori Expo moves to a new venue, the Vector Arena.  Over 20,000 people attend, including those involved in, kapa haka, fashion shows, dance performances, exhibitions and concerts.

2009

AUT partners with the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health to open the AUT Millennium campus in Mairangi Bay, North Shore City.. The focus of the facility is high performance athlete development and success. The partnership brings together valuable sports research and training collaborations between AUT and Millennium in areas like biomechanics and human performance. The campus has world-class training facilities, athlete accommodation and sports science laboratories. 

2009

In June 2009 the university opens a lecture theatre complex at the North Shore campus. This new facility has: 300- and 150-seat lecture theatres; an open foyer space for exhibitions and conferences; and a large landscaped courtyard, ideal for gatherings and events. 

2010

AUT opens its South campus, the first university in the city. The 440 founding students study business, health, education and sport and recreation degrees.

2010

AUT University celebrates its 10th birthday.
In its first 10 years as a university, AUT:
  • Graduated 25,000 students from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • Graduated 110 PhDs and other doctorates (the first just 6 years ago)
  • Produced 8,000 refereed journal articles and other peer-reviewed research outputs
  • Received $145 million in research-related income
  • Grew total enrolments to more than 19,000 students (equivalent full-time), with over 80% in undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.
  • Saw annual postgraduate enrolment climb to 2,000 students (equivalent full-time), with 300 PhD students.

Last updated: 22-Jun-2016 2.24pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.