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Education award recognises quest for excellence

Media Release
August 2008

Education award recognises quest for excellence

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), has won an Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ) award for quality assurance processes that demonstrably improve student success. The award comes in recognition of the quest by the School of Hospitality and Tourism at WelTec to become a Centre of Vocational Excellence.

Currently, New Zealand does not have processes in place to recognise providers for excellence in the delivery of teaching and learning, as opposed to research. While the government has implemented teaching excellence awards to reward distinction in teaching, these awards recognise the excellence of an individual, rather than the depth and breadth of quality that is cultivated within a centre or area of expertise in a tertiary institution.

Faced with this void, WelTec has initiated and developed a set of eight criteria to establish a Centre of Vocational Excellence. A panel of external industry, academic and business experts judged WelTec against this set of criteria which included; leadership, relationships with industry, collaboration with other providers, teaching and scholarships, student success, national and international standing, responsiveness to national and regional goals and planning and resourcing.

“Achieving Centre for Excellence status was a fantastic experience because it acknowledges outstanding delivery in our School of Hospitality and Tourism” says Acting Head of Centre, Karen McLeay. “We wanted to set a quality standard that recognised excellence in teaching and learning. The award highlights an area where WelTec excels on a national and international level. It also recognises our innovative nature and desire to constantly set the benchmark for others to follow.”

It has been a successful year for WelTec’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. This year to date, the school has successfully built on it’s international relationships, delivering teaching in the Cook Islands and continued international exchanges with Les Sorbet in France. The award compliments student success too, with hospitality students winning the top prizes in Cookery, Food and Beverage and Patisserie at the WorldSkills regional competitions and winning 22 medals in total at the Wellington Food Show. With the NZ Culinary Fare this coming weekend and the National WorldSkills finals next month, more medals are expected.

ENDS

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