New look and focus for Massey education
Massey University's former College of Education is no more - shifted, and rebranded, it is now wearing a new title as the Institute of Education, with a new focus.
The university's Institute of Education was officially opened yesterday by Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.
The institute replaces the university's 16-year-old College of Education, and is part of a $57 million shake-up at the university that marks a change of scene for educational training at Massey, with the facility moving from its former site at the Hokowhitu Lagoon to the main Turitea campus.
Fellow training provider Te Wananga o Aotearoa is now leasing a part of the Hokowhitu campus, and sharing the site with the Ministry of Defence.
About 100 people, including school principals and academics, were there to recognise the university's new lease on education.
The institute will concentrate on graduate and postgraduate teaching and related professional and education qualifications, and will promote more opportunities for its academic staff to engage in research.
The decision to shift the focus to postgraduate level teacher education came as part of a "radical" academic review and followed the example of world-leading universities, Massey vice-chancellor Steve Maharey said.
"We are in great company," he said. "Education was going through so many changes and it was timely to move the bulk of teaching to postgraduate level."
The education sector was likely to see rapid change as technology progressed and digital learning became a vital part of the classroom, Ms Kaye told the audience.
The change of vision behind the education institute's conception has not been a wholly smooth transition. Twenty-five academic staff within the education department lost their jobs last year as part of the university's academic review in March 2011. The cuts, finalised late last year, were challenged by some while others accepted voluntary redundancy.
The job losses have downsized the academic department by about a third, but the university's management has maintained the decision had nothing to do with the change to a teaching institute.
Professor Patricia Hardre will be the institute's head, joining Massey with more than 20 years' experience in academic leadership at several United States universities. She will be taking up her new position in April and, in the meantime, the institute's interim director, Associate Professor Sally Hansen, is at the helm.