Auckland University of Technology

History of AUT

1895      Auckland Technical School opens in a former cabinet making factory in Rutland Street with 137 students enrolled for night classes in vocational education and the trades.

1905      In a triumph for colonial education, the school scores more exam passes than any of the larger technical schools in London. Expansion plans forge ahead with the purchase of land in Wellesley Street East.

1906      A day technical school opens. The institution is renamed Auckland Technical College.

1913      Minister of Education James Allen formally opens the institution with the new name of Seddon Memorial Technical College, in remembrance of the Premier and Minister of Education, Richard Seddon.

1953      Training is provided to overseas students for the first time. Under the Colombo Plan, the institute takes trainee trades teachers for a year from countries such as Malaysia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka),Thailand and Borneo as well as the Pacific region.

1987      Two hundred courses are run by ATI, making it the largest on-campus teaching institute in the New Zealand polytechnic sector.

1994      AIT becomes the first New Zealand polytechnic to offer a master’s programme, provided in physiotherapy, and is the first polytechnic to offer the Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

The first alumni association in a New Zealand polytechnic is formed.

1997      More than 1,000 people attend the official opening of the AIT marae (Te Purengi). A building for the Faculty of Science and Engineering in St Paul Street opens. AIT acquires hostel accommodation for 160 students in Mount Street, close to the City Campus.

2004     The University farewells John Hinchcliff who has led the institution for the last 20 years. Derek McCormack is welcomed as the new Vice-Chancellor. AUT signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the mana whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau – Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, signalling a mutual commitment to making a positive difference to the region’s economic and social well-being. Academic clusters are restructured into Applied Humanities, Business, Health and Environmental Sciences, Design and Creative Technologies, and Te Ara Poutama. The Office of Pasifika Advancement is established; the first of its kind in New Zealand.

2008     The Government provides significant investment to AUT to advance research capability and performance, for the development of the new Manukau Campus, and the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health. Close to 24,000 students from 83 countries are enrolled at AUT. AUT’s Business Faculty is renamed the Business and Law Faculty with the inaugural intake of students in the Bachelor of Laws degree.

2014     AUT becomes the first and only university in New Zealand to be certified with the Rainbow Tick, recognising its commitment to gender diversity and inclusion. AUT’s capital development programme, with investments of more than $400 million over the University’s three teaching campuses, gains initial approval from the Ministry of Education. Dr John Hinchcliff becomes the first Emeritus Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of his role in transitioning the organisation into becoming a university in 2000. The Woolf Fisher Trust agrees to fund scholarships for new AUT students who are the first in their family to go to university, with a commitment of more than $2 million over the next 10 years.

2015    AUT becomes New Zealand’s second largest university. Total enrolments reach 19,798 EFTS. AUT is ranked 12th in the world for international outlook in the Times Higher Education world university rankings. Uniprep – a six-week summer programme run at the South Campus that provides students with an introduction to university life – is established, with 85% of the 136 participants going on to study at AUT.

2016    AUT reaches 850 doctoral students. Postgraduate students now make up 17% of the University’s student body. The AUT Edge Award, a co-curricular programme designed to increase students’ leadership and employability skills, launches with 825 students registering. A School of Economics is established, sitting within the renamed Faculty of Business, Economics and Law. AUT becomes a five-star university (QS Star ratings) and achieves five stars in sub-categories for teaching, internationalisation, employability and inclusion. AUT is recognised as one of the world’s top young universities (under 50 years old) by both Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings. AUT is ranked number one in New Zealand and 29th in the world for Sports Science by the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities.

2017   The Mana Hauora Building is opened by Prime Minister Bill English. The new hub of the South Campus provides capacity for 3,000 EFTS and offers space for community and industry events.

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