Engineering e2e secondary-tertiary pathways project

Pūkahatanga – Kura ki te mahi - He ara ahumahi

Last updated 11 November 2016
Last updated 11 November 2016

The Engineering Education to Employment (Engineering e2e ) Secondary-Tertiary Pathways Project aims to increase the number of Level 6 and 7 engineering graduates in New Zealand.

It supports secondary schools and tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to work collaboratively to deliver programmes to successfully prepare and pathway students – particularly women, Māori, and Pasifika – into tertiary engineering study.

The Government has allocated $2 million over a four-year period to fund projects. The intention is to fund projects for up to two years, with an option for successful projects to be funded for an additional third year.

The funding round closed in May 2016.

What type of benefits will funded projects deliver?

Successful projects will result in:

  • students entering into tertiary engineering study ready for the challenge
  • increased enrolments in level 6–7 engineering qualifications
  • increased numbers of under-represented groups enrolling in engineering including women, Māori, and Pasifika
  • the establishment of clearly articulated pathways between secondary school and tertiary engineering study
  • increased awareness of the range of engineering study and careers in the community. 

When did applications close for the 2016 funding round?

The Engineering e2e 2016 funding round closed in May 2016. We received 17 applications, which were all of a very high standard.

The following six Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) have successfully applied for funding to enable collaboration with secondary schools to deliver programmes that will pathway students into tertiary engineering study:

  • Otago Polytechnic
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury
  • Northtec Tai Tokerau Wānanga (Northtec)
  • Unitec
  • Wintec
  • Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT).

What are the funded projects?

Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic will work closely with local secondary schools and the University of Otago to build applied project-based science and maths learning into the school curriculum.

This will be achieved by developing modules that can be taught as part of NCEA science and maths studies. Learning resource kits linked to NCEA standards will be developed on topics that will ignite students’ interest in engineering. The topics will be identified by research.

The project will also involve events targeted at Year 10 to 13 students, such as Engineering Days where engineers and Otago Polytechnic students can share their enthusiasm and talk about career options.

Ara Institute of Canterbury

In 2016, Ara staff have been teaching Year 12 and 13 electronics programmes at Papanui High School. Students have two lessons at school each week, and two at the institute where they can use the electronics facilities. The 27 students have also had the opportunity to visit a local electronics industry.

The programme uses hands-on electronic activities combined with relevant theory to engage students in the course material. Support from the Canterbury Development Corporation and local industry has seen visits to local industry so that students can see some of their future career possibilities.

In 2017, the STPP funding will be used to expand the programme into more secondary schools in the Canterbury region.

Northtec Tai Tokerau Wānanga

Northtec will engage Year 10 to 13 students in introductory engineering ‘taster’ experiences to give them an insight into engineering careers. This will lead on to a part-time programme for Year 13 students in 2018, in which students can begin studying towards the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE) (Civil and Electrical) while still at school.

Working with local schools and communities and in remote regions of Northland, the project will develop students’ creative, problem-solving skills through linking them with high-profile and experienced engineers, as mentors.


Unitec’s partnership with six West Auckland secondary schools (Kelston Girls, Kelston Boys, Massey, St Dominics, Green Bay and Waitakere) is aimed at Year 9 to 13 students.

The programme’s aim is that by engaging students in engineering projects they will be motivated to continue on to NCEA Level 2–3 maths and physics. Achieving these levels will gain them entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering and/or Bachelor of Engineering Technology – qualifications that match known industry shortages.

The programme will use engineering problems to contextualise maths and physics, with the courses to be co-created and co-delivered by secondary school teachers and Unitec staff.

It will also feature professional development for teachers, who will be linked with engineering companies.

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki

WITT is launching a programme in 2017 offering Year 13 students the opportunity to spend half a day a week within school time studying engineering papers at WITT.

The first engineering paper will be a ‘taster’ exploring electrical and mechanical engineering. New Plymouth Boys’ High School, New Plymouth Girls’ High School and Francis Douglas Memorial College have partnered with WITT to promote the programme, and other groups are expressing interest in joining.


Wintec is already running an integrated engineering programme for Year 12 to 13 students, offering engineering contexts and project-based learning assessed by NCEA maths and physics standards. Students spend 15 hours a week at school and 12 hours at Wintec. In 2017, the project will include civil, mechanical, electrical engineering and CAD.

Wintec also offers a school holiday and professional development programme in response to a need identified by Waikato Tainui. On two days, teachers and subject matter experts explore ways to contextualise maths and physics and use a project-based learning approach to engineering. On the next three days, students participate in a project offering a taste of the different engineering options, with teachers and experts applying some of their learning with students. Wintec also runs an in-school programme offering students the chance to achieve NCEA standards.

Who oversees the Engineering e2e programme?

A Steering Group oversees and guides the Engineering e2e programme. It comprises a broad range of business, education and professional representatives committed to the cause.  The group’s goal is to contribute to achieving the Government’s target of an additional 500 engineering graduates each year from 2017, by:

  • developing and implementing a collaborative marketing campaign
  • giving effect to programme goals and work streams, particularly through engagement with their individual sectors
  • forming effective industry – education provider partnerships.

Where can I find out more information?

You can follow the progress of the funded projects, read case studies and other findings on the Engineering e2e website.

If you have any questions about the funding initiative or the project send them to