Our students

We have over 31,000 students from New Zealand and 40 countries overseas taking advantage of distance and online learning with us each year.

They come to us for the flexibility that distance learning offers. They want to gain qualifications that are valued by employers and will help them achieve their study and career goals.

Most are in employment and are studying so they can take the next step in their career. They also include people studying for general interest or personal development, or through secondary schools, industry training organisations or public and private sector organisations

Key statistics

 In 2014:

  • 31,503 individual students were enrolled in Open Polytechnic courses
  • 69% were in employment
  • 93% were studying part-time
  • 75% were aged 25 years or over
  • 25% were aged between 30 and 39
  • 33% were aged over 40
  • 16% were Māori (over 5,000 students)
  • 8% were Pasifika
  • 56% were female
  • 6% had a disability
  • 16% had no school qualification.

New Zealand students

  • Bright future ahead for scholarship winner

    • Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

    Taranaki resident Kylie Filbee-Cronin juggled working full-time while ticking-off a string of life achievements during her time studying towards a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) with the Open Polytechnic.

    Read more

  • Dream of tertiary education fulfilled

    • Bachelor of Applied Science (Communication)

    Aucklander Emma Jeffery’s long-held ambition of receiving a tertiary education is now complete after graduating from Open Polytechnic with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Communication).

    Read more

See more New Zealand students

International students

  • Patricia Midori

    • National Certificate in Horticulture (Introductory) (Level 2)

    Patricia Midori is living in Spain and working in an office all day. As a proponent of careful environmental management and sustainability she would like to change her life and work in an area related to her passion.

    Read more

  • Nicole Linke

    • Bachelor of Applied Science
    • Certificate in Technical Communication (Level 5)
    • Diploma in Communication Studies (Level 5)

    Foreign Correspondant Nicole Linke wanted to get a qualification, and improve her English on the way. Living in Germany, and balancing a busy work schedule with a husband and two children, Nicole was looking for a flexible way to achieve her goals.

    Read more

See more International students


  • Anna Schubert

    • National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5)

    Anna Schubert, Senior Manager of Distribution Development at Sovereign, understands more than most about the balancing act that financial advisers now face since the implementation of the Financial Advisers Act.  “The juggle of work and other commitments as they meet the up-skilling requirements has been a strain on many of them” says Anna.

    Read more