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NZ ITPs (Institutes Of Technology And Polytechnics) Celebrating Research And Innovation Through Online Symposium

Whitireia and WelTec, alongside the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Ltd, will be hosting the National 2021 ITP (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics) Research Symposium on 25-26 November via Zoom.

The aim of the symposium is to bring together staff from across the many ITPs, postgraduate students and key industry stakeholders who are interested in research.

Symposium attendees will get to hear from two outstanding keynote speakers; Dr Mereana Selby (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Porou Tumuaki) and Jehan Casinader. Dr Selby is a language expert who is passionate about the revitalisation of te reo Māori. Jehan Casinader was New Zealand’s ‘Broadcast Reporter of the Year 2020’ and is a mental health advocate.

This year's symposium theme is ‘Resilience’, which is fitting considering the challenges that kaimahi (staff) across the sector have overcome over the past couple of years; let alone what is still to come in a COVID-19 world.

A whopping 129 abstracts have been accepted across the ITP network. Organising committee member and Senior Research Advisor at Whitireia and WelTec Dr Lee Smith is excited to show attendees the talent on display. “I am thrilled that we can still show off the expertise and hard work of the academic staff across the sector,” says Dr Smith. “They’ve set the bar very high, people are going to be blown away by what they’ve achieved.”

Principal Lead, Teaching, Innovation & Research at Whitireia and WelTec and organising chair Dr Fiona Beals is excited to see every school in Whitireia and WelTec represented among the submissions. “There is an exciting mixture of experienced, emerging and new researchers on display. It is also a chance to showcase collaborative research across the ITP network,” says Dr Beals.

Co-organiser of the event, New Zealand’s distance learning specialist, Open Polytechnic, will have 31 staff presenting their research at the symposium.

Open Polytechnic Research Development Leader and one of the organising chairs Dr Nadia Sal, says the symposium is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to share their research findings amongst their peers.

“Presenting on one’s research is one of the most important phases of the research process because it allows you to share your findings and have an impact on society,” says Dr Sal.

Dr Lesley Pitt, Open Polytechnic Social Work academic staff member, will deliver her presentation on rural poverty in the health, social services and wellbeing session.

"I'm excited to be presenting my research at the ITP symposium, particularly as the theme is resilience, something the participants in my study talked about and demonstrate in their everyday lives,” says Dr Pitt.

Attendance for the day is free and registration is now open.

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