Campaign to protect polytech

Dunedin is New Zealand's tertiary education capital and we need to ensure it remains that way.

Today, the Otago Daily Times begins a campaign Protect our Polytech, aimed at ensuring Otago Polytechnic gets a fair deal out of proposed changes to polytechnics and industry training organisations (ITOs).

A similar campaign is under way in Invercargill to support the Southern Institute of Technology. The Otago Daily Times also backs that initiative.

Last month, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced a proposal to merge the country's 16 polytechnics into one entity. The new body would manage capital and operational budgets, staffing, and learning management systems for all polytechnics.

Otago Polytechnic, like the University of Otago, is part of the fabric of Dunedin and Otago's society, bringing significant economic and social benefits to the region.

There is no question a national review is needed. But, based on their success, Otago Polytechnic and SIT should retain autonomy. Key decisions about these institutions must be made in the South, not Wellington or Auckland.

This Government must recognise and reward Otago Polytechnic for its achievements.

How can you help? By ensuring your voice is heard. Tuesday's public meeting in Dunedin is vital and we urge as many people as possible to attend and have their say.


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