6 Jun 2012

Ministry probes 'university' claim by wananga

6:37 am on 6 June 2012

A Maori tertiary education provider is being investigated over claims it's breaking the law by calling itself a university.

David Rankin, of Nga Puhi, has complained to the Ministry of Education about Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi's use of the words "indigenous university."

The Ministry of Education is now investigating the matter, and will report back to the Education Minister.

The wananga, in Whakatane, refers to itself as an "indigenous university" throughout its website.

Mr Rankin says students graduating from Awanuiarangi are being misled and that the wananga has breached the Education Act.

Wananga chief executive Professor Graham Smith is overseas and could not be reached for comment.

But in Awanuiarangi's annual report, Professor Smith says the term is used to describe the wananga's unique learning environment, and that it does not want to be a university.