Universal College of Learning

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Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
Universal College of Learning Logo - 2013.jpg
Motto Your Hands On Learning Advantage
Established 1907
Academic staff
545 FTE Staff 2005
  • 10492 domestic (2007)
  • 373 international (2007)
Location Palmerston North, Wanganui, Masterton, New Zealand
Affiliations Public NZ TEI
Website www.ucol.ac.nz

The Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is a New Zealand Government TEI (Polytechnic) located primarily in Palmerston North but has campuses also in the other parts of the lower North Island.[1]


There are three campuses: Palmerston North, Whanganui, and Wairarapa.


UCOL was founded in 1907 and was known as the Palmerston North Technical School. In 1971 it became the Palmerston North Technical Institute and in 1983 the Manawatu Polytechnic. At the time it specialised in trade apprenticeship courses, and in hobby, art, and craft classes, along with a range of night school programmes in business studies for working adults.

As successive governments placed emphasis on vocational education, the Polytechnic broadened the courses offered, but retained a focus on core vocational programmes. It now delivers Foundation and Certificate programmes, Diplomas, Degrees and Post-Graduate options in a range of subjects as well as community based programmes.

In 1987 the Manawatu Polytechnic opened a small campus in Levin and the 1996 approval by government of a $22 million capital injection, enabled the rebuilding and consolidation of the Palmerston North campus onto a central city site. In late 1998 the Manawatu Polytechnic changed its name to the Universal College of Learning (UCOL).

UCOL expanded in January 2001 with the incorporation of the Wairarapa Regional Polytechnic and the integration of the Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic on 1 April 2002.

The Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic is now called Whanganui UCOL and incorporates the Wanganui School of Design


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