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Mining project, rugby league academy wins gold

For immediate release
11 June 2009
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand

Mining project, rugby league academy strike education awards gold

ITP New Zealand, the national association for the country’s institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), has announced the winners of its annual awards.

“The awards celebrate the great work being done by polytechnics and institutes of technology across the country. They show that close working relationships between ITPs and industry and community partners deliver winning outcomes for Kiwi students,” says Dave Guerin, Executive Director of ITP New Zealand.

The winners were announced yesterday at Te Papa in Wellington, the venue for ITP New Zealand’s 2009 conference, Skilling New Zealand’s Recovery.

Widening Access: Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki; Rugby League Education Academy
Headed up by Rob Hewitt, the diver who survived a remarkable 75 hours lost at sea off the Kapiti Coast, this Taranaki academy is in a league of its own. It empowers students to become valued members of society through education and sport. In its first year (2009), its team won the rugby league section of the NZ University Games.

Quality Improvement: Tai Poutini Polytechnic; development of training and standard assessment for the Extractive Industry
When it was unable to find enough New Zealand skilled workers for its new mine, Pike River Coal approached Tai Poutini Polytechnic for help to recognise overseas workers’ skills. The West Coast polytechnic developed a way to recognise miners’ current competencies without retraining, with the involvement of NZQA and EXITO. The model has been made available to the whole extractive industry and is being used by Tai Poutini for other courses.

Innovative Support Services: Waikato Institute of Technology; SODA Inc.
Fizzing with new ideas, Wintec’s aptly named creative business incubator, SODA Inc., opened in October last year. It was established to attract and retain young creative talent in Hamilton, and to help create a destination for the city’s entrepreneurial graduates.

Global Role: Waikato Institute of Technology; marketing to China
Wintec has bucked the national trend and grown its Chinese international student numbers, thanks to a successful partnership strategy with tertiary institutions in China. A Beijing office provides local contact and expertise, and “pathway” study allows students to study first in China and complete their qualification with Wintec in Hamilton. A targeted and consistent marketing strategy has paid off.
Successful Cooperation: UCOL; Whanganui Tertiary Education Collaborative Venture
Convinced that more can be achieved for the city’s learners by working together, Whanganui’s public and private education providers joined forces. The River City collaboration has resulted in improvements in student participation, success and progression. It is a model for how the most can be made out of limited resources by building trust.

Relevant Learning: Waikato Institute of Technology; employer engagement
Wintec prides itself on giving employers what they really, really want. They reviewed every one of their programme advisory committees to ensue that they were getting the right information and focussing on the right issues. Industry partners are given opportunities to influence what is taught in the classroom so that training is relevant and graduates are work ready. Information is shared across all industry representatives via a member-only website.


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