20 Dec 2012
AUT University is delivering on the Government’s promise to raise the achievement at degree and postgraduate level of groups under-represented in tertiary education.
AUT’s Manukau Campus was founded in 2010 as the first university campus in South Auckland. December 2012 marks the end of the third year of teaching and the graduation of its first group of students.
AUT recognised 100 of its Manukau Campus graduates by hosting a celebration event attended by Auckland Mayor Len Brown, AUT’s Chancellor John Maasland and Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack and the MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.
Also in attendance were Pauline Winter, Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry for Pacific Island Affairs, and Auckland councillor Arthur Anae. The 700-strong attendance signifies just how important this milestone is in the life and development of Auckland.
Education delivered locally- the statistics
The campus was established in response to the Government and community’s call for university education to be delivered locally in South Auckland and to cater for Manukau’s thriving young population (40% of its population under 25) and the needs of local employers.
While participation rates in tertiary education throughout New Zealand have increased noticeably in recent years, this has not necessarily been reflected in South Auckland.
On average, this area’s residents are the lowest qualified in the Auckland region and also fall below the national average. The 2006 Census (Statistics New Zealand) found that only 11 per cent of Manukau City residents held degree-level qualifications, which was lower than the national average of 1 per cent.
AUT's Manukau Campus
Before the campus opened its doors in 2010, AUT already had nearly 3500 students hailing from the (then) Counties Manukau region.
In 2012 there were 1100 students (700 equivalent full-time students) enrolled. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of its Manukau Campus students hail from Decile 1-4 schools, compared to nearly one-third (31%) of AUT’s total student numbers.
AUT’s course completion rates are higher for Pasifika students at Manukau Campus than across the other campuses. The success of its students and the campus is highlighted by the range of qualifications and number of graduates – a total of 181 students graduated last week with qualifications gained across four faculties.
A number of AUT’s Manukau foundation students already have jobs or are planning further study in 2013.
AUT has been growing the Manukau campus at the rate agreed with government for the first phase of its development, however additional support is required to continue to grow the campus to its critical mass and ensure it can fully harness the opportunities for Auckland and New Zealand from having a South Auckland-based university campus.