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University of Waikato sets up Napier base

Delegates from University of Waikato and Napier City Council sign an MOU. Greater access to tertiary courses in specialist areas such as marine science without having to leave Hawke’s Bay may get a little easier from now on, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Napier City Council and the University of Waikato on Tuesday, 12 April.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Assistant Vice-Chancellor Communications, Marketing and Engagement, David Craig, met with Council Chief Executive Wayne Jack and Napier Mayor Bill Dalton to sign the MOU.

Areas both organisations share interests in and have agreed to work together on are economic development, the environment, high performance sport, water management and marine science.

The Council has offered the former Community Development ground level space in the Library building to the University for up to three years. The intention is to establish a research centre to develop research projects in the Bay, and work with Council on an education/innovation/entrepreneurship precinct for Napier.

Council Economic Development Manager James Rowe, who has worked on developing this relationship since early last year, said he expected the University to complement what was already offered at EIT Hawke’s Bay, rather than compete.

“They can potentially offer courses with the back-up for students that only a university can provide. We also want to work with them on this precinct because of the experience they have in establishing one in Tauranga,” Mr Rowe said.

The education precinct is featured in the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDs) that is due to be released publicly next month.

Mayor Dalton was looking forward to seeing what came out of this collaboration.

“It’s a great move for Napier and Hawke’s Bay. Too many of our young people leave for further education or job opportunities and it’s tough to coax them back, let alone given them reasons to stay in the first place,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Quigley said this MOU was the beginning of what they hoped would be a long-term relationship with the people of Hawke’s Bay.

“The University of Waikato is excited about this opportunity and we look forward to working together with the Council and EIT to deliver education services, and collaborating with Council on a series of research projects that will benefit the whole community.”

The University will work with Council to set up the new office in Napier and anticipates opening by the middle of this year.

12 April 2016

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