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A New Zealand first for excellence in education

Media Release
28 March 2008

A New Zealand first for excellence in education

Last night, the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), was assessed to be a centre of vocational excellence. A panel of external industry, academic and business experts judged WelTec against a set of internationally accepted criteria based on those used in the UK to judge centres of vocational excellence. UK Centres include Thanet, Thames and Westminster - Kingsway College - the former training ground of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Kay Nelson, WelTec Head of Hospitality and Tourism said of the achievement, “I am excited and proud on behalf of all staff and students that today has finally arrived. The team of tutors and support staff have lived and breathed this dream for six years and we couldn’t be more delighted to be acknowledged for our consistent standard of excellence.”

Centre of vocational excellence status is intended as a quality assurance guarantee for vocational teaching and learning. The School of Hospitality and Tourism were required to fulfill eight key criteria including; leadership, relationships with industry, collaboration with other providers, teaching and scholarship, student success, national and international standing, responsiveness to national and regional goals and planning and resourcing.

“It validates what WelTec has done to ensure industry relevance, academic quality and value for money. Some 2000 students every year study some form of hospitality and tourism at WelTec from certificate to degree level. We are the largest hospitality provider in the country” said Ms Nelson.

The panel of industry experts including Nicki Stewart (Chair), Anita Sarginson (NZ Chefs Association/Executive Chef Flying Burrito Brothers), Carol Stigley (Hospitality Standards Institute), Frances Topa-Apera (Director Human Resource and Development Cook Island Government), François Fèbvre (owner of LaCloche), Rex Morgan (Executive Chef and owner of Citron Restaurant) and Sue Bartlett (NorthTec) unanimously approved the application.

Chair of the panel, Nicki Stewart delivered the final decision. “We’ve considered the application very seriously. The experience of the panel today combined with the evidence provided by the School of Hospitality and Tourism team has made for a challenging and exciting day culminating in the right result. The evidence provided shows excellent breadth and depth. WelTec are able to respond to regional, national and international needs. It shows more than leadership - we think WelTec have an entrepreneurial spirit, breaking away from the traditional. There is a commitment, understanding, passion and dedication that is incredibly strong.”


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