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Ako Aotearoa celebrates 10 years working in tertiary education

Press Release – Ako Aotearoa
More than 100 guests gathered in Wellington tonight to celebrate Ako Aotearoa’s tenth birthday – a significant milestone involving a wide range of work with tertiary organisations hallmarked by its unswerving vision for best possible educational outcomes for all learners.

With $10million invested in 308 projects since 2007, over 88,000 learners and 12,000 practitioners benefitting from a sample of 124 completed projects, almost 7,000 people attending our workshops, and 213 national teaching excellence award winners, Ako Aotearoa is extremely proud of what it has achieved so far.

The Centre’s Director Dr Stanley Frielick marked the birthday with the launch of its latest publication –Building capability and connection – how Ako Aotearoa is adding value to tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The report demonstrates how Ako Aotearoa is making a difference through its:

• strong sector partnerships and commitment to sharing teaching and learning knowledge

• co-funded projects that focus on collaboration and developing practical tools to share good teaching and learning practice across the sector

• strategic events that influence matters of priority and encourage stronger cross-sector connections

• High quality professional development experiences that bring positive change to practice and proven benefits to learners

• leadership in areas of priority for government, policy makers and the country.

Trusted, valued, and relevant in a rapidly changing world

“Ako Aotearoa has achieved much in those ten years through determination and commitment to making a difference for all learners. “ Dr Frielick commented.

“This report documents how we have achieved that, and just as importantly, signals where we will head over the next five years. Our success has been underpinned by hard work of loyal, knowledgeable staff and strong positive relationships with individuals and groups right across the sector. We couldn’t have achieved so much without them.”

The report signals the Centre’s future focus on innovation, connectedness and flexible delivery – underpinned by a commitment to building capability and raising professional standards across the tertiary landscape.

“Our vision remains unchanged and we are excited to further our work with New Zealand’s tertiary sector through the next five-year plan.” He added.

Other highlights from the evening event included the official launch of the new Ako Aotearoa brand, a preview of the long-awaited new website, and the launch of two project synthesis reports – one bringing together key themes relating to the 45 Māori projects funded by Ako Aotearoa over the ten-year period, and the other report focusing on 36 foundation-focused projects we have funded over that time. Also announced was the release of Measuring the impact of Ako Aotearoa’s contribution to the tertiary sector by Linda Keesing-Styles, a report summarising two earlier impact evaluation reports on co-funded projects prepared by Fleur Chauvel.

This event concluded a mammoth day of activities involving: two project colloquia held during the day at Te Papa (National and the Central region), where 15 current project teams presented their work; an afternoon project celebration for seven recently-completed national projects, and an exhibition to showcase the highlights of Ako Aotearoa’s work over the past ten years.

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