Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga congratulates Dr Caroline Seelig on King’s New Year Honour

Posted on 23 January 2024

Open Polytechnic, a business division of Te Pūkenga, congratulates Dr Caroline Seelig who was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2024 King’s New Year Honours.

Dr Seelig joined Open Polytechnic as Chief Executive in 2009 and completed her leadership tenure with the organisation in 2022.

The King’s New Year Honour citation notes that Dr Seelig has made a significant contribution to vocational education and distance learning for more than 30 years.

The citation also covered Dr Seelig’s significant career achievements, saying “Throughout her career, Dr Seelig has demonstrated a commitment to improving educational access and outcomes for students, and has received international recognition for her achievements in the open and distance learning field. She served as Chief Executive of Open Polytechnic of New Zealand for 14 years until December 2022, during which time it grew to become the country’s largest polytechnic, maintaining high learner satisfaction and steadily improving education performance to world class levels for distance learning.” 

The citation further notes that Dr Seelig “led the development of ground-breaking education technology tools, including the introduction of the iQualify online learning platform. For her services to open, distance and flexible learning, she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning in 2013, and in 2020 she was appointed as New Zealand’s representative on its Board of Governors. She is a well-respected thought leader in her field of expertise, having published work in academic journals and spoken at international events. Dr Seelig is an Ako Aotearoa Board member, a member of Te Rautaki Mātauranga with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and has twice served on the Board for the Hutt Chamber of Commerce.”

Alan Cadwallader, Executive Director Open Polytechnic | Te Pukenga, says “During her time at Open Polytechnic, Dr Seelig was tireless in leading our organisation to achieve world class results for open and distance learning, and it is with pride that we acknowledge the recognition she has received in the 2024 King’s New Year Honours.”