Open Polytechnic celebrates student achievement

Posted on 3 March 2020

Witnessed by their proud family and friends, Open Polytechnic distance learning graduates from throughout the lower North Island crossed the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington yesterday [24 May, 3.30 pm] to receive their well-earned qualifications.

Wellington was the last of three nationwide locations for Open Polytechnic’s 2018 graduation ceremonies. The other ceremonies were held earlier this month in Christchurch [8 May] and Auckland [17 May].

In total over 810 students received their qualifications from the Open Polytechnic in this graduating year.

Graduates from Open Polytechnic are unique says the organisation’s Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig. “Our mainly adult learners study by distance, fitting in their studies around the many other responsibilities in their lives, including employment and family commitments. Open Polytechnic is proud to support them on their diploma or degree journey, as they gain the skills they need to get ahead in their current career or to change careers.”    

The representative student speaker for the Wellington ceremony was Paraparaumu local, Brittany Manawaiti, who graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education).

During her speech, Brittany, who is currently working in her chosen field, shared how a trip to a poverty-stricken village in Bali inspired her to become a teacher.

“I witnessed the power of education and how it brought joy to children who owned next to nothing,” said Brittany.

Brittany is proud of the career path she has chosen and is passionate about making a positive difference in children's lives.

“I have the opportunity as a teacher to ensure that children are treated equally and are provided with an opportunity to strive in their environment, and that is a responsibility I hold dear,” said Brittany.

The online and distance learning environment offered by Open Polytechnic along with the encouragement from her lecturers allowed Brittany the flexibility and confidence to strive towards her study goals.  

“I am thankful to my Open Polytechnic mentors for believing in me and for helping to shape my teaching practice.”

The Wellington ceremony saw learners graduate with a variety of diplomas and degrees including early childhood education, business, engineering technology, accounting, human resource management, information and library studies and child and adolescent psychology.