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Otago Occupational Therapy Degree In Waikato

MEDIA RELEASE

November 7 2008


Otago Occupational Therapy Degree To Be Offered In Waikato

Otago Polytechnic and Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) have formed a unique collaboration to deliver the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree in the Waikato.

Otago Polytechnic Head of School of Occupational Therapy, Jackie Herkt, said it was an exciting collaboration which would have far reaching benefits for the Waikato region and for students.

“By working with Wintec we have found a way to bring occupational therapy training to a local area, while ensuring that the students benefits from studying a successful programme which has run successfully in New Zealand for 17 years.”

She said the partnership enabled Otago Polytechnic to offer the programme where it was needed rather than students having to study at Otago Polytechnic. “The Waikato region will benefit from an ongoing supply of therapists who are already established in the area and who understand local issues. ” This collaboration will help ensure that the Waikato region could meet the increasing demand for occupational therapists with a rapidly growing population.

Enrolments in the Waikato had opened for the programme which will begin at Wintec in 2009.

Ms Herkt said Otago Polytechnic and Wintec had worked together to utilise the teaching skills, expertise and the resources of both institutions to deliver the programme. There will be a joint advisory committee, with the involvement of local stakeholders. Nina Hill, Associate Head of School, Midwifery and Allied Health at Wintec, said a joint team will also establish a mechanism to review and adapt the Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Occupational Therapy curriculum to meet specific Waikato needs, in particular in relation to iwi and pasifika”. Mrs. Hill said it was important to note that there will be one curriculum although the means by which it will be delivered may differ according to whether the student is in Dunedin or in the Waikato region. She said Otago Polytechnic had expertise in delivering learning flexibly and this medium will be explored with key stakeholders for undergraduate students.

The two institutes intend building on the relationship to ensure that the occupational therapy programme is responsive to community need and gives students the opportunity to use their developing skills within the community. The occupational therapy profession in the region has expressed strong support of the collaboration, as has the Tertiary Education Commission.

ENDS

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