Posted by 3 June 2011on
The Open Polytechnic released its 2010 Annual Report this week, detailing the transformational pathway the organisation is on as it drives for continual improvement as a flexible learning provider.
New Zealand’s specialist provider of flexible distance learning services, the Open Polytechnic is one of the largest polytechnics in the country, enrolling around 29,000 mainly adult learners a year from across the nation.
Alongside a strong financial performance, which saw the Open Polytechnic return a surplus of $5.17 million, the organisation carried out a significant upgrade of its information technology infrastructure and equipment to ensure that staff and students benefit from a range of new online services which began being delivered at the end of 2010 and will continue into 2011.
“The Open Polytechnic is one of the largest educators of New Zealand’s workforce, and we are proud of the significant contribution we make to helping upskill Kiwi’s for their current or future career”, says Open Polytechnic Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig.
“Seventy percent of our learners are studying while in employment, fitting their studies in around work and family commitments. Having access to increased online services, which are accessible in the learner’s own time and space, is one way our organisation aims to help our students’ achieve their learning goals.”
Student satisfaction with the Open Polytechnic’s services remained high in 2010, with an overall satisfaction rate of 93%. Eighty four percent of students said their study would be valuable for their current job, and 93% said it would be valuable for a future job.
Open Polytechnic Council Chair, Graeme Hall, says he is pleased with the organisation’s progress. “The Open Polytechnic’s capability as New Zealand’s specialist provider of distance learning continues to strengthen.
“The strong enrolment demand we experienced in 2010 highlights the role the Open Polytechnic plays in providing access to high quality tertiary education that fits around the time constraints placed on adults to gain skills to help them in achieving their career aspirations while continuing to earn a living.”
Highlights for the Open Polytechnic in 2010 included the rapid development and delivery of courses in the new National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) which saw around 2,000 financial advisers enrol in the qualification to help meet new registration requirements as a result of legislation changes introduced that year.
Forming partnerships with large organisations also saw the Open Polytechnic develop customised learning materials for the National Certificate in Financial Services to suit internal training regimes.
The Open Polytechnic also increased its offshore activities, signing memorandums of understanding with the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada, and the National Institute of Open Schooling in India, to facilitate access to vocational education and training through open and distance learning for developing nations.
“The strength of distance learning is the ability to deliver high quality education solutions on a large scale in a cost effective manner,” says Dr Seelig.
The 2010 Open Polytechnic Annual Report is available for download at: www.openpolytechnic.ac.nz/about-us/corporate-publications