Strong performance highlighted in 2021 Open Polytechnic Annual Report

Posted on 23 May 2022

The recently released 2021 Annual Report for Open Polytechnic highlights a second year of record enrolment growth, strong financial and course completion results, and significant progress towards closing the equity gap for priority learners.

A subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s specialist provider of online and distance learning, and in 2021 enrolled 28% of all learners in the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) sector.

“Enrolment growth at Open Polytechnic in 2021 outpaced the previous year, with a total of 35,612 individual learners enrolled,” says Open Polytechnic Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig. “This sustained enrolment growth, which began in 2019, has seen Open Polytechnic become the largest subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, both in terms of the number of individual learners in the sector, and equivalent full-time students.”

Dr Seelig says the institution returned a financial surplus of $5.3 million, and achieved 109% of its funding cap.

“Open Polytechnic’s performance across our key measures was strong for 2021.  Across the board we saw improved overall course completion results of 82% for non-Māori, non-Pasifika learners, and 72% and 71% respectively for Māori and Pasifika learners. Due to a range of organisation-wide initiatives we are closing the equity gap across our Māori and Pasifika learner priority groups in terms of first-year retention rates and are moving closer to achieving equity in relation to course completions,” says Vaughan Renner, Chair of the Open Polytechnic Board of Directors.

When compared to the results of specialist online flexible distance learning providers globally, Open Polytechnic’s course completion results are world-leading, and match the results of face-to-face ITPs in New Zealand.

Overall learner satisfaction with Open Polytechnic also remained steady in 2021, with an independently conducted survey returning an 86% overall learner satisfaction rate.

To view the Open Polytechnic 2021 Annual Report, head to: