One of the things that make Ako Aotearoa special is that it is unique from other centres around the world in that it covers the whole spectrum of tertiary education. This includes the universities, wananga, polytechnics / institutes of technology and private training establishments, through to adult and community education providers and on-the-job training arranged by industry training organisations. Similar centres include the Australian Carrick Institute.
The Southern hub’s coordinator, Bridget O’Regan coordinated the speakers, starting with the vice- chancellor of the University of Canterbury, Professor Roy Sharp who spoke about the history of how Ako Aotearoa came about. He was followed by Alison Holmes, director of University of Canterbury’s Centre for teaching and learning, who provided a more personal background into how Ako Aotearoa originated. Then Russell from the West Coast who is on the reference group spoke about how the inclusiveness of all tertiary sectors would be Ako Aotearoa’s strength and concluded with Bridget on plans for the Southern hub to help promote excellence in tertiary teaching.
Still early days yet as Ako Aotearoa was only officially opened in November of last year but they have ambitious plans for making an impact on the teaching and learning landscape.