By Gurbir Singh:
After nearly 20 years of running courses in Tauranga, the University of Waikato today opened its own campus in the city.
A dawn karakia took place at the university’s Tauranga Campus this morning to mark the opening of the campus to students and staff.
The ceremony, known as ‘Tā i te kawa’ and attended by nearly 100 people, is to ‘ensure the spiritual well-being of the new campus, and of staff and students who will make it their home’.
University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Alister Jones says the karakia is a significant step in the process of growing the University’s long-standing commitment to the people and communities of the Bay of Plenty.
The $55 million campus has opened at least a year ahead of schedule in Tauranga which is New Zealand’s fifth largest city. Hitherto, the university has been using facilities of other educational institutions to run its degree-level courses.
Some students are still completing their enrolment, so final numbers are not yet available, but Professor Jones says enrolments are growing across all subjects, with numbers as of this week 31% up in the same time last year.
“It is a very promising start to the future we see here at the new campus, and our intention to see the Bay of Plenty prosper”, Prof Jones added.
Computer laboratories will open first, with the rest of the campus opening incrementally to students, staff and the wider public.