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Waiariki And Northland Polytech Opportunities

Waiariki And Northland Polytechnic Explore Educational Opportunities

The Waiariki Institute of Technology and Northland Polytechnic are currently discussing the possibility of collaborating to provide improved educational opportunities for New Zealand students - in particular Northland students.

The first to benefit will be students in the forestry and wood processing sector. In the longer term, it's likely there will be collaboration across a wider range of programmes and courses.

Currently, Waiariki's School of Forestry and Wood Processing competes with Northland Polytechnic in the delivery of courses in forestry and wood processing practical skills programmes. Both parties agree it makes sense to co-operate to eliminate duplication.

The two institutions have co-operated informally in the past, but the new initiative will place co-operation on a higher level.

Northland Polytechnic's general manager of Education Delivery, Ron Abdinor, says both institutions are close to finalising combined programmes for forestry and wood processing students.

"Waiariki's Level 1 and 2 courses are likely to be available to students at Northland Polytechnic in 2004," he says. "This will include the forestry and wood processing practical skills courses."

Abdinor points out that Northland Polytechnic already has its own Level 1 and 2 courses in place. He says the delivery of Waiariki's Level 1 and 2 courses will enhance existing programmes.

Waiariki CEO, Dr Reynold Macpherson, says the proposed level of co-operation with Northland Polytechnic will benefit Waiariki by avoiding duplication of programmes.

"We need to focus our energies and scarce resources on delivering the capital intensive Level 3 and 4 technical skills programmes and the advanced Level 5 and 6 programmes for industry team and plant leadership," he says. "This initiative will benefit Northland students by giving them more course and study options close to home as well as serving local forestry and wood processing industries."

Macpherson says discussions are continuing over the running of Waiariki's 16-week practical logging courses in Northland.

"Units of the National Diploma in Forestry could also be conducted there in the future, and there's the possibility the National Certificate in First Line Management - a Levels 3 and 4 management programme - could also be taught at Northland Polytechnic."

Access to the Levels 5 and 6 National Diploma in Wood Manufacturing is also being considered for 2004/2005. Macpherson says this could involve Northland students attending classes at Northland Polytechnic as well as participating in block courses each year at Waiariki.

"Another innovation that could flow from this agreement is that many more Levels 1 and 2 courses in wood processing could be offered in secondary schools to help students make the transition into the industry in a planned and supported way, rather than have them drift into unemployment."

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