With the launch of the Institute’s TalentNZ Initiative, education has been very much at the forefront of our thinking. The development of our education system is an important story in our history; one that has affected all New Zealanders. Listed below are some potential dates we have identified to add to Thread 52 (Education and knowledge) in the third edition of Nation Dates.

1870 The University of New Zealand founded

The University of New Zealand is established under the University of New Zealand Act 1870. The University is the degree-granting body for all New Zealand universities. With the exception of the University of Otago which retains its name, the universities are known as ‘university colleges’ and include what would later become the universities of Auckland, Canterbury and Victoria. The University of New Zealand is disestablished in 1961.

To find out more:

University of Otago. History and governance of the University of Otago. Retrieved 11 November, 2013 from: http://www.otago.ac.nz/about/history/

Victoria University of Wellington. Victoria’s history. Retrieved 11 November, 2013 from: https://www.victoria.ac.nz/about/victorias-story/history

University of Auckland. Our history. Retirieved 11 November 2013 from: http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/about/the-university/university-history/uoa-our-history

1877 Education Act

The Act introduces New Zealand’s first free and compulsory national system of primary education. Approximately 730 schools are administered by regional education boards, 78% are rural with only one or two teachers.

To find out more:

Swarbrick, N. Country schooling – Getting an education: 1800s. In Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 11 November, 2013 from: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/country-schooling/page-1

1914 Education Act

The act introduces free secondary education for all those who pass a proficiency exam – known as the ‘free place system’. The system limits the previous autonomy of the secondary schools, as growing student numbers increase reliance on the central department for grants and the requirements of the entrance exam result in the beginnings of a standardised curriculum.

To find out more:

McLintock, A. H. Education evolution of present system: A new Education Act. In Te Ara –the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrievedhttp://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/education-evolution-of-present-system/page-4

1930 Atmore Report published

Written by the Minister for Education, Harry Atmore, the Report aims to create an egalitarian education system. The reforms include the raising of the school leaving age to 15, the establishment of intermediate schools, abolition of scholarship entry to post-primary school and the expansion of the secondary syllabus beyond university entry requirements. The Report also endorses a single national teaching service and equal pay for men and women.

To find out more:

Tunnicliff, S. Atmore, Harry. In Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 11 November 2013 from: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4a23/atmore-harry