A "bold" move by a university to offer higher qualifications at a local tertiary institute has been well received by Rotorua educators.
The University of Canterbury's campus at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is looking to extend its range of Teacher Education courses to include postgraduate and masters papers in 2017.
Professor of Maori Research Dr Angus Macfarlane, along with Dr James Graham and Dr Richard Manning, recently presented the options to more than 40 teachers from Rotorua schools.
"There was a general feeling of optimism. This is about the academy going out to the regions and allowing teachers to upskill in a way that breeds innovation and creativity."
Professor Macfarlane said the qualifications would be taught face to face, not via correspondence like other programmes.
"To do this away from our main campus is a brave and bold move and it is the first time we have offered this but the signs are optimistic."
The Rotorua regional campus co-ordinator, Anne-Marie Hunt, was buoyed by the level of interest expressed by local teachers.
"There are positive indications that we will draw the numbers required to make the proposed courses viable."
Two masters level papers were outlined by the lecturers, likely to be offered over two semesters.
The first semester would be a paper on Culturally Inclusive Pedagogies for Diverse Learners and the second on Place-based Education and the Treaty in Education Today.
Professor Macfarlane said the courses attracted good numbers at the Christchurch campus because "they are topical, relevant and designed for teachers to apply the strategies in the classroom".
"We have a strong will to bring the courses to the regions, and the Toi Ohomai campus is an ideal setting."
The courses are offered mainly on Saturdays with the focus on encouraging professionals to examine their practice, building on the existing sound methods that teachers and school leaders have acquired, and introducing new skills.