Open Polytechnic 2020 Annual Report highlights record growth

Posted on 19 May 2021

Open Polytechnic’s recently released 2020 Annual Report shows the online and distance learning provider enrolled record numbers of learners, increased its overall learner satisfaction, and returned a strong financial result.

Open Polytechnic, which became a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga on 1 April 2020, enrolled 30,712 individual learners from January – December 2020, and returned a financial surplus of $1.9 million.

The specialist online and distance learning tertiary education provider is one of the largest polytechnics in the country, enrolling one-in-four learners in the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) sector.

“Enrolments in Open Polytechnic’s wide range of vocational programmes and courses reached record levels during 2020 with enrolment applications up by 39% on 2019.  This trend is continuing in 2021,” says Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig.

“This increase in enrolments is a result of our strong portfolio of industry and employer relevant qualifications; the introduction of the government’s fees-free Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund; an increase in New Zealanders wanting to gain recognised qualifications to benefit their careers or changing work situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and our continual transformation programme of work to ensure a world-class education experience for our learners.”

Overall learner satisfaction grew to 87%, an increase of 1% on the previous year. Course completions were also up by a percentage point, reaching 76%. The net promoter score, which measures the likelihood of learners recommending Open Polytechnic to others, rose five points from 31 to 36 in 2020.

Vaughan Renner, Chair of the Board of Directors at Open Polytechnic, says the organisation can be proud of its achievements in a year when COVID-19 disrupted so many learners’ lives. 

“As New Zealand’s specialist provider of online and distance learning, Open Polytechnic was well equipped to seamlessly support learners during the changing alert levels brought about by the pandemic as our workforce and learners all adapted to staying at home,” says Vaughan.  “The organisation was also able assist the wider education sector during this period, supporting 44 other education providers free of charge to move their learning delivery online using Open Polytechnic’s iQualify learning management system.”

To view the Open Polytechnic 2020 Annual Report, head to: