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Funding for The Open Polytechnic

28 July 2005

Funding for The Open Polytechnic to enhance national skill base

A plan to improve links between businesses around the country and The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand is being implemented thanks to a successful bid for part of a $25.5 million government fund.

The polytechnic's project is one of 19 initiatives that have been successful in securing a grant from the Institute of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) Business Links Fund, announced as part of last year's budget.

Administered by the Tertiary Education Commission, the fund was created to promote more productive working relationships between educators and enterprise.

"Our proposal addresses the vital national need for more highly-trained staff in Science and Technology, Agriculture, and Plumbing who are capable of meeting the industry needs for the present and future growth of the New Zealand economy," says Dr Peter Rutland, Acting Executive Director Faculty at The Open Polytechnic.

"The funding supports a platform of planned activity that includes strengthening engagement with key stakeholders, redeveloping learning materials in line with changing industry needs, and participating in advisory groups."

The Open Polytechnic's proposal also delivers on government's aim to up-skill more women so that they can return to the workforce.

TEC chief executive Janice Shiner said that improving the relevance of tertiary provision for students and employers is a central theme of the Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities (STEP). "Those polytechnics and technical institutions that received funding demonstrated how their proposal would increase their capability to engage with business. In doing so, they will promote the development of courses that are more closely aligned with the skill needs of employers." Up to $300,000 can be applied for each year, with ten ITPs receiving the maximum amount this year.

Appendix 1: Criteria used to assess applications

* Alignment with education and training needs of the region

* Links to regional development activity (or identified national skill or industry need)

* Stair casing being enabled from lower levels to higher levels or education and training
* New or improved linkages with other providers

* New or improved linkages with industry

* Regional or national provision being complemented

* Expected student achievement, including progress into higher levels of education

* Expected achievement by Maori and Pacific students * Expected student destinations, including employment.

ENDS

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