70th Anniversary Celebrations

This year marks Open Polytechnic’s 70th Anniversary.  Since 1946 Open Polytechnic has been helping students from all over New Zealand change their lives through access to flexible distance learning.  

Watch our video recorded at the 2016 graduation ceremonies to find out more about the impact Open Polytechnic has had on New Zealand and our students.

History of Open Polytechnic

Open Polytechnic had a different name when it first began operations in 1946. Known then as the Technical Correspondence School, we were originally created to help with resettlement training for returning servicemen and women from World War 2.

When the institution first opened it had 23 staff, 673 students, and course materials and assignments were sent by Army transport.

Following a change in the Education Act in 1963, we became the Technical Correspondence Institute, known affectionately as TCI by many tradies still in the workforce today.

Another legislation change in 1990 saw us become the Open Polytechnic, and begin offering our first degrees – first up was the Bachelor of Business (Accounting).

Our purpose remains the same

Open Polytechnic chief executive Dr Caroline Seelig says that while the name of our organisation might have changed over the last 70 years, one thing has always shone through. “The accessible, flexible distance learning experience we provide has helped change the lives of thousands of adults, and you don’t have to go far in New Zealand before you run into someone who talks about how Open Polytechnic has helped them achieve their educational goals.”

While Open Polytechnic has always changed and evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of New Zealanders and the New Zealand workforce, we have always had the same underlying purpose – to take education out of only being available in institutional settings, and bring it to where people want it and need it; into their homes, their workplaces and their lives.

70th anniversary celebrations on campus

On 1 July, 2016, staff enjoyed a morning tea to commemorate Open Polytechnic’s 70th anniversary.

70th anniversary

"Show us your open Polytechnic" photo contest

In celebration of our 70th Anniversary, Open Polytechnic ran a photo contest on our Facebook page, with students submitting photos of themselves in front of landmarks or recognisable sites in the town in which they study. Below are the first and second place photos from our students. To see all of the student photo submissions, visit our “Open Polytechnic Everywhere” album at http://bit.ly/2b7Mnur