Posted on 3 March 2020
The release of Open Polytechnic’s 2017 Annual Report shows a year of growth and innovation for the institution which enrols the largest number of distance learners at tertiary level in New Zealand.
Open Polytechnic enrolled 29,813 individual learners, equating to 5,713 EFTS (equivalent full-time students) in 2017, achieving 102% of its Student Achievement Component funding caps.
One-in-four learners in the polytechnic sector enrolled with Open Polytechnic in 2017.
Enrolment demand for Open Polytechnic’s flexible learning provision was so high that it received additional funding from the Tertiary Education Commission during 2017, equating to an extra 941 EFTS.
Open Polytechnic Council Chair, Murray Bain, says the tertiary education provider has played a vital role in helping upskill hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders during its 71-year history.
“Open Polytechnic’s national reach and the demand for its services highlight the important role the organisation continues to play in offering flexible online and distance learning options within the vocational education system,” says Mr Bain.
“New Zealanders from all walks of life want the type of education we offer, and especially so for our core audience of mainly part-time learners who want access to high quality education while still remaining in the workforce and meeting their other life commitments.”
Tuition fees have not changed at Open Polytechnic for the last three years, the organisation using its economies of scale to help keep education affordable for its learners.
During 2017 Open Polytechnic launched a transformation programme to ensure the organisation remains New Zealand’s leader in flexible vocational learning.
“Our transformation will enable Open Polytechnic to continue to innovate and respond to the changing needs of learners and employers,” says Open Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig.
Open Polytechnic’s transformation aims to make the best use of emerging technologies which enrich the learner experience and enhance their success; and design, deliver and support its programmes in a way that fits an increasingly digital, always-on world.
Open Polytechnic returned a financial surplus of $1.2 million for 2017. Excluding one-off costs relating to the organisation’s transformation, this was a group surplus over revenue of 5%.
“Open Polytechnic has been investing heavily in digital courseware and services during the last few years to meet the needs of our learners. This will be a continuing focus for us in 2018,” says Dr Seelig.
To view the Open Polytechnic 2017 Annual Report, head to: https://www.openpolytechnic.ac.nz/about-us/about-open-polytechnic/corporate-publications/