AUT was founded as Auckland Technical School in 1895, offering evening classes only. Daytime classes began in 1906 and its name was changed to Auckland Technical College. In 1913 it was renamed Seddon Memorial Technical College. In the early 1960s educational reforms resulted in the separation of secondary and tertiary teaching; two educational establishments were formed; the tertiary (polytechnic) adopting the name Auckland Technical Institute (ATI) in 1963 and the secondary school continuing with the same name. For three years they co-existed on the same site, but by 1964 the secondary school had moved to a new site in Western Springs and eventually became Western Springs College. In 1989 ATI became Auckland Institute of Technology (AIT), and the current name was adopted when university status was granted in 2000.
Sir Paul Reeves served as university chancellor from 2005 until his death in 2011.
Campuses and facilities
AUT has three campuses: City (in Auckland CBD), North and South, and the training institute, Millennium. City and North campuses offer student accommodation. AUT runs a shuttle bus service between the three campuses. Sir Paul Reeves Precinct at AUT’s City Campus
City Campus spreads over several sites in the heart of central Auckland. The largest site is situated on Wellesley Street East and is home to most of the academic units and central administration, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and research centres. The Faculties of Business, Economics and Law, Design and Creative Technologies, Culture and Society and Te Ara Poutama share this location.
Facilities of the campus include an early childhood centre, International Student Centre, printing centre, gym, Chinese Centre, Pasifika Student Support Service, Postgraduate Centre and Te Tari Āwhina Learning Development Centre. The Central Library holds over 245,000 books and journals on four floors. There are cafes, restaurants and bars, including the student-owned Vesbar. Training restaurants Piko Restaurant and Four Seasons Restaurant have operated commercially since 2011. There is also a marae, the AUT Shop, St Paul St Art Gallery, a university bookshop, and the Wellesley student apartments.
Another recent building completion is the $98 million WG precinct. Named after the former Chancellor of the university, the Sir Paul Reeves Building hosts the School of Communication Studies. The 12-storey building was officially opened by Prime Minister John Key on 22 March 2013. It provides an additional learning space of about 20,000 square metres that consists of convention spaces, screen and television studios and a motion capture, sound and performance studio.
AUT opened South Campus (formerly Manukau Campus) in 2010, creating the first university campus based in the region. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business, computer and information sciences, education, health sciences, year 1 of law, as well as sports management and science. South Campus hosts its own library, student lounges, student information centre, course information centre, computer labs, wireless network, and café. The campus also boasts astro turf courts with tennis, basketball, netball, volleyball, touch, and soccer equipment available for hire.
In July, 2019, controversy arose when AUT cancelled an event commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre, and allegations arose that this was due to interference from the Government of China, due to contact between Chinese officials and the university. AUT denied that China had pressured them, although this claim has been heavily disputed, including by some university staff.
North Campus is located on Akoranga Drive in Northcote. The Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences (including the Sport and Recreation division) and School of Education share this campus, which has park-like grounds. AUT’s main sport and fitness centre is located at the campus, encompassing a gymnasium, weights room, testing equipment, golf swing clinic, and indoor courts. The campus also offers a library, student services centre, early childhood centre, AuSM branch, PrintSprint shop, health counselling and wellbeing centre, university bookshop, and food outlets. In addition, the campus provides five health clinics (oral, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychotherapy, and ultrasound), which are now located at the NorthMed Health Clinic building at 3 Akoranga Drive, Northcote (since July 2017).North Campus is closely linked with the nearby AUT Millennium Institute of Sport and Health.
Like AUT North Campus, the Millennium Institute is located on Auckland’s North Shore, at Mairangi Bay. AUT Millennium provides sports training, and hosts national and local sports organisations, including Swimming New Zealand, New Zealand Water Polo, Northsport Olympic Weightlifting, and Sport and Recreation New Zealand. The institute has training facilities, athlete accommodation, sports science laboratories, an aquatics facility, and a commercial gym.
Warkworth Radio Astronomical Observatory
AUT maintains a number of facilities off campus, including the AUT Radio Telescope, New Zealand’s first radio telescope. The 12m telescope is located near Warkworth and is part of New Zealand’s and Australia’s involvement in the international mega-science project, the Square Kilometre Array. The AUT/New Zealand Alliance won the ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Innovation Excellence in Research category at the 2016 New Zealand Innovation Awards.
AUT Centre for Refugee Education
AUT’s Centre for Refugee Education, located in Mangere, provides an on-arrival six-week education programme for the 1,000 refugees who come to New Zealand each year under the government quota scheme.The education programme teaches English languageskills at early childhood, primary, secondary and adult levels, as well as orientation to life in New Zealand. With a new set of learners arriving every two months, and with ages ranging from early childhood to adult, the teaching team has developed a curriculum that gives refugees English and life skills, but remains flexible in order to tailor the lessons to each new intake.
AUT has five faculties. These are:
- Culture and Society
- Business and Law
- Design and Creative Technologies
- Health and Environmental Sciences
- Te Ara Poutama
AUT has 17 schools that sit within these faculties. These are:
- Art and Design
- Clinical Sciences
- Colab: Creative Technologies
- Communication Studies
- Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Interprofessional Health Studies
- Language and Culture
- Public Health and Psychosocial Studies
- Social Sciences and Public Policy
- Sport and Recreation
- Te Ara Poutama – Māori and Indigenous Development
AUT offers undergraduate and postgraduate (both PhD and Master) degrees, as well as sub-degree qualifications such as diplomas and certificates. Programmes are offered in the areas/fields of applied sciences, art and design, business, business information systems, communication studies, computer and information sciences, education, engineering, health care practice, hospitality and tourism, languages, law, mathematical science, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health, paramedicine and emergency management, Māori development, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, public health, rehabilitation and occupation studies, social science, and sport and recreation.
The AUT Business School has been recognised as one of the top business schools in the world by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.