An ''exceptional'' performance by Otago Polytechnic,
including a rapidly rising student roll, and three national
teaching awards, means big benefits for Dunedin's economy and
its tertiary education industry.
That comment came from polytechnic communications director
Mike Waddell after the institution's performance was
discussed at a Polytechnic Council meeting yesterday. The
council heard that a student roll rise of about 10% was being
Enrolments, mainly of domestic students, but including
international students, had already reached 4099 equivalent
full-time students (Efts), about 610 Efts higher than at the
equivalent stage last year, Mr Waddell said in an interview.
And the polytechnic was already within about 120 students of
its overall roll target for this year.
International student enrolments had also reached 425 Efts,
up 186 on the corresponding stage last year, he said.
Polytechnic Council chairwoman Kathy Grant said an increase
in the number of well-educated, work-ready students
graduating from the polytechnic was positive not only for
individual students and their families, but also for the
At the council meeting, a council member, Emeritus Prof Tom
Prebble, also referred to the polytechnic's success at
national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards announced
earlier this week.
Prof Prebble said he had been attending the teaching award
events for some years and believed this was the first time
teachers from one institution, in this case Otago
Polytechnic, had achieved success in three different academic
disciplines in one year.
Otago Polytechnic officials pointed out 57% of students at
the polytechnic were from outside Dunedin.
Mr Waddell said rising student numbers delivered many
benefits to the Dunedin economy, and including attracting
more people from beyond Otago to study here, some later
becoming long-term residents.
A long-term focus on maintaining and improving teaching
quality and finding the best way of delivering courses was
paying off in recent ''exceptional'' outcomes, including the
Tertiary education made students much more employable,
including in key building-related trades needed for
Christchurch and elsewhere, he said.