Background: our strategic goals

The University’s Strategic Plan 2013 – 2020 sets out our aspirations and identifies a number of strategic objectives and priorities. Some of these in particular will have an impact on requirements for campus and facility development, and our space, building and accommodation needs.

Although the University has a strategy of limiting growth in student numbers, we also want to attract domestic and international students of high academic potential. To do this we will need to grow the provision of University accommodation.

We also have a strategy of significantly growing the postgraduate school and research activity to levels consistent with those of leading international research universities.

The fact that we are comprehensive and can put together multi-disciplinary teams to address significant world challenges and opportunities is a major asset for the University. Examples include Thematic Research Initiatives, the Food and Health Programme, Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the Centre for Brain Research.

Conjoint degrees and new programmes are important in attracting and developing the most able students, and growing multidisciplinary teaching and research programmes is an important strategy which will be greatly enhanced through physical co-location of the faculties.

The following table shows our growth since 2004, and our projected growth to 2020, in postgraduate education, research revenues, total revenues and estimated economic impact.

Table 1. Student population, revenue and economic impact

  2004 Actual   2011 Actual 2020 Target 
 Percent postgraduate students  17%  20%  25%
 External research revenue  $131m  $243m  $433m
 Total revenue  $578m  $933m  $1,347m
 Annual economic impact (NZIER multiplier)  $3.8b  $6.1b  $8.8b

Meeting the growth requirements of The University of Auckland

In order to support and sustain the University’s strategic growth path, we need to build or acquire additional space at a rate of about 6,000 m² of gross floor area per annum for the foreseeable future. That rate of growth has, as shown in Table 1, seen the University’s economic contribution to the city and nation increase from $3.8 billion eight years ago to $6.1 billion today. It is vital that we are able to support continued growth on that scale.

In 2008 we consulted widely on, and subsequently adopted, a plan to concentrate our academic activities on the City and Grafton Campuses. However, at 6,000 m² p.a. these two campuses could sustain only 10-15 years of growth (and would have been very densely populated). Thereafter, prior to the acquisition of the Newmarket campus, our only other growth option was Tāmaki Innovation Campus, which would have provided a further 20 years growth but at a considerable distance from the City and Grafton campuses and at a location not suited to the provision of student accommodation.

In 10-15 years when we reached capacity at City and Grafton, we would have had to further split the University to accommodate space requirements. This would have involved either whole faculties, or parts of most faculties, moving to Tāmaki. Both of these options would have limited our ability to achieve the full benefits of a comprehensive integrated research university. The Newmarket campus, by contrast, offers long term growth potential close to the City and Grafton campuses.

The location of the Newmarket campus provides the University with an opportunity to ensure long term integration of our activities across the main campuses. The high density development potential and size of the site will support a further 30 - 50 years of growth, providing the University with a rare opportunity to secure our space needs for the future. In addition to this, development of a comprehensive, mixed use campus in Newmarket presents significant benefits for the local community and businesses.

University campus locations