Posted by 17 November 2011on
The Open Polytechnic took out the award for Excellence in Professional Services at the 2011 Westpac Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards held last night (16th November).
The Lower Hutt-based distance tertiary education specialist is one of the largest educator’s of New Zealand’s workforce, enrolling around 29,000 mainly adult learners every year.
The Open Polytechnic won the Excellence in Professional Services award for the contribution it makes both regionally and nationally to helping upskill Kiwis through tertiary education.
Two-thirds of Open Polytechnic students fit their studies around their work commitments, using the flexibility of distance learning to gain the skills they need to get ahead in their current or future career.
Open Polytechnic chief executive Dr Caroline Seelig says the Polytechnic is delighted with its award win. “New Zealand has a number of skills challenges ahead of it as we work towards building a more productive economy. It’s fantastic that the Open Polytechnic’s contribution to helping build workforce skills has been recognised at a regional level through this award.”
A standout in the winning Open Polytechnic entry was the major role it played in helping upskill thousands of advisors in the financial services industry around the country ahead of legislative changes implemented recently.
Aside from the national contribution the distance learning organisation makes, the award also recognises the strong relationships the Open Polytechnic is forging internationally to provide distance learning consultancy and distance learning delivery in the field of technical and vocational education.
In the last twelve months the Open Polytechnic has signed an agreement with the National Institute of Open Schooling in India, which has cumulative enrolments of 1.9 million students, to see how the two organisations can work together in open and distance learning up to pre-degree level and in vocational education and training in India.
An agreement between the Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the Open Polytechnic has opened the way for the two organisations to collaborate on educational opportunities for disadvantaged groups to help increase skills’ development. As a first step, the Open Polytechnic modified existing learning resources in conjunction with COL to help teachers build literacy and numeracy skills while delivering trades training in the Pacific Islands.
Over 230 representatives from Lower Hutt businesses and community organisations attended the 2011 Westpac Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards to celebrate the achievements of local business and the contribution they make to the regional economy.