Otago Polytechnic: Big 2012 plans

Otago Polytechnic wants to build on the industry success and acclaim it garnered last year as part of a bid to become a "great" tertiary institution, its chief executive has told staff.

Phil Ker told the recent Otago Polytechnic council meeting the institution had made several notable achievements last year which were deserving of special recognition.

The polytechnic had attained its best budget target in 10 years and had also been given a sterling report card for its educational performance from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Receiving a "double high confidence" quality rating was as "good as it gets and is a great achievement", he told council members.

The polytechnic has recently become one of 14 accredited partners with the Ministry of Science and Innovation's technology and transfer scheme.

Under the scheme, technology projects are partly funded by MSI and New Zealand companies, and developed in conjunction with partners such as Otago Polytechnic.

The polytechnic has recently had its first project approved and will receive $344,000 of funding towards the development of an information technology product alongside Christchurch company Swiftpoint.

Polytechnic creative and applied technology head of department Alastair Regan told the council several other projects were being lined up for development in partnership with IT companies for this year.

"We're hoping to pick up a project each month this year," he said. These varied in value from about $60,000 to $400,000, he said.

Polytechnic chief operating officer Phil Cullen said domestic enrolments for the 2012 academic year were up by more than 200 on last year.

Enrolments from international students were also tracking well compared with 2011.

"We're on target, but won't know for sure what our figures will be like until the start of classes in two weeks," he said.

Mr Ker said Otago was one of only two institutions to have their EFTS allocation raised by the Tertiary Education Commission.

The increase of about 135 EFTS places had resulted in a financial windfall of about $1.19 million for the polytechnic, he said.

A fund of about $500,000 was to be established to support new education initiatives and to seek out collaborative partnerships and tender opportunities, Mr Ker said.

"We feel pretty good about the year ahead.

"We want to move from these very good results and aim to become a great institution."


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