Story: Tertiary education

Teachers' college enrolments, 1910–2005

Teachers' college enrolments, 1910–2005

This graph shows the trends in teachers' college enrolments between 1910 and 2005. Student intakes were controlled and subject to the demand for teachers, which is why enrolment figures fluctuate much more than figures for other tertiary institutions.

The economic depression of the 1930s ended early growth and all the colleges temporarily closed. They had all re-opened by 1936 and enrolment growth resumed until the early 1950s, when a small drop in enrolments was eclipsed by new growth into the 1970s. By the early 1980s teacher graduates outstripped demand and student intakes were cut. This was caused by a declining birth rate and a tendency for teachers to stay in the profession for longer. Intakes increased again in the mid-1980s and student numbers grew accordingly.

The sharp decline in enrolments in the early 2000s was caused by colleges merging with universities – the last merger took place in 2007. This heralded the end of the separate teachers' colleges in New Zealand.

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Sources: Department of Education annual reports, Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives; Ministry of Education

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Tertiary education - Colleges of education before 1990', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 May 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 20 Jun 2012