EIT says it's disappointed Hamilton has been chosen as headquarters for New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, but it remains optimistic about its future.
Acting chief executive Bill Kimberley said the Hawke's Bay institute "gave its best" and it was "very impressive to see how the region worked so closely together".
"It was a great opportunity for the region and the region's pitch document was impressive and showcased our region's capability and potential."
Kimberley said EIT anticipated changes for the tertiary sector over time, but it is too early to anticipate what the changes will bring and when they will come into effect.
He said there were no concerns about potential job losses or a decrease in student numbers.
"Tertiary learning is counter cyclical to unemployment – and the Government has announced substantial investment into tertiary education this week – so we are encouraged about the future of teaching and learning in our region.
"The reform will take time and NZIST will work closely with EIT and other subsidiaries to manage the transition.
"The important thing is our students will be able to complete their courses without disruptions and with an EIT branded qualification.
"EIT will continue to deliver high quality education and training for Hawke's Bay and the East Coast," he said.
Kimberley said EIT would be part of the Food and Fibre CoVE (centre of vocational excellence) Consortium.
Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule, who petitioned to "Save EIT" before getting in behind the bid, said he was "extremely disappointed" in the decision.
"For many people around here the only upside [of the merger] was that we could get the headquarters [which will no longer happen]."
EIT became a subsidiary of NZIST on April 1, but its 2019 annual report showed a year of growth for its last year as a separate tertiary education institute.
"Pleasingly, EIT had another very strong year performing with distinction across multiple fronts. This, at a time where many other institutes have been struggling, and the reform of vocational education caused some uncertainty amongst the sector," Kimberley said.
The year registered the highest number of students in its history.
There were 4957 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) and 10,817 individual students in total which was up 492 from 2018.
International student numbers also continued to grow with 1462 students from 45 countries studying at EIT in 2019.
Alongside growth in student numbers, EIT is financially sound and reported once again a net surplus.
Kimberley noted that in 45 years, EIT has never made a loss.
EIT said the report also documents the support EIT's staff offer to Māori, Pasifika and under 25-year-olds, including NEET youth (not in education, employment, or training).
In 2019, 46 per cent of EIT's domestic equivalent fulltime students in Hawke's Bay were Māori, and in Tairāwhiti 78 per cent.