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Open Polytechnic int. leader in distance learning

Open Polytechnic international leader in distance learning

A winning mix of top quality distance education and strong community access will see New Zealand’s largest polytechnic become the recipient of international accolades tonight.

The Open Polytechnic will be one of two Commonwealth educational institutions to receive an award for institutional excellence from the Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning (COL). The Polytechnic, along with Australia’s University of Southern Queensland, was selected from entrants in 14 countries by an international panel of experts.

COL President and Chief Executive Sir John Daniel will present the award at a ceremony in Dunedin tonight (Tuesday 6 July) as part of COL’s Third Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, which is being held this year in partnership with the Distance Education Association of New Zealand.

Sir John Daniel says The Open Polytechnic has achieved an extraordinary outreach in the community, empowering its learners with high quality vocational programmes.

“It has established its credentials as a model institution in terms of its overall management and responsiveness to the needs of learners, the government, employers as well as industry.”

The Open Polytechnic’s Chief Executive Paul Grimwood says he is delighted at the award.

“Open and distance learning has really come of age as a form of education, and so have we as an institution. It’s very heartening to have that fact recognised by an important international body such as COL.”

Dr Grimwood says the award is a tribute to all of the people who have worked at the Polytechnic since it took its present form in 1990 and to its predecessor institution the Technical Correspondence Institute.

“They helped us get to where we are today – the first choice option for one of New Zealand’s largest student bodies and a key educator of people in the workforce.”

The Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance learning and enrolled nearly 40,000 students last year.

COL is an inter-governmental agency set up to promote the use of distance learning in and among the 53 member states of the Commonwealth and is making the biennial excellence awards for the third time.

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