The praise was included in the yet-to-be-released 2011 Tertiary Education Performance Report, which was given to the Otago Daily Times by Otago Polytechnic. The TEC said the polytechnic had improved against ''almost all educational performance indicators''.
The report showed that last year the polytechnic outperformed institute of technology and polytechnic averages in successful course completion, qualification completion, student retention and student progression.
The course completion rate stood at 83%, compared to an average of 78%, while the qualification completion rate stood at 74%, compared to an average of 63%.
The polytechnic was also praised for the pass rates of Maori students. Mr Ker said the report was a ''vote in confidence'' in the institution.
''It's acknowledging that we have achieved very good performance across a range of dimensions,'' he said.
He put the institution's success down to ''having damn good staff and jolly hard work''.
The polytechnic had continued to perform well at a time when others in the sector were struggling because it had stayed focused, he said.
''We have got a clear strategy for the polytechnic... and I'd be bold enough to say that all of our staff understand the strategy, they agree with it and they are focused.''