21/08/2018 4:30:00 p.m.
The agreement, signed by the Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of the two universities, will allow the parties to explore partnership and merger options to accelerate and enhance Lincoln’s unique 140-year contribution to the land-based sectors and the wider economy, with a strong focus on meeting the sector’s need for more highly skilled staff through world-class teaching and research.
The signing of the MOU follows detailed discussions between Lincoln and the Government about the constraints to achieving the step-change required for Lincoln to grow faster and the support needed for it to meet the goals set out in last year’s Transformation Board report.
Lincoln University Chancellor Steve Smith says the Government is strongly focused on encouraging more people to study and work in the land-based sectors, increasing productivity and developing solutions to present and future technological, social and environmental challenges.
“We approached University of Canterbury to explore new innovative partnership options,” says Smith. “A simple merger between Lincoln and Canterbury may not achieve ours, our partners’ and the Government’s ambitions for Lincoln University and its critical role in the land-based sectors.”
UC Chancellor Dr John Wood says the University of Canterbury has longstanding interests in the land-based sectors and is confident the parties will collaborate to create innovative solutions to achieve the Government’s goals: “The University of Canterbury is ready and willing to work with Lincoln University to the mutual benefit of both universities and in New Zealand’s national interest.”
Smith welcomed the Government’s commitment to Lincoln University’s Joint Facility, a partnership with AgResearch, and its collaborative initiatives with Dairy NZ and other CRIs through BLinc Innovation (formerly the Lincoln Hub).
The fact that Lincoln must remain at its present site and retain the Lincoln identity, brand and culture was an important bottom line, he adds.
Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor James McWha says the MOU was the logical vehicle to ensure New Zealand’s land-based sector remained internationally competitive.
Vice-Chancellor of University of Canterbury, Dr Rod Carr adds that any new partnership or arrangement must bring additional benefits to both universities and demonstrate significant added value not only to the institutions but to New Zealand.
Findings and recommendations resulting from the MOU are expected to be shared with the Government by the end of the year.