Student and whānau FAQs
updated 8 August 2019
The Government's announcement on 1 August 2019 has confirmed that there will be no immediate impact on current and prospective polytechnic students as a result of the reform. There will be no significant change until 1 April 2020 when existing polytechnics and institutes of technology become subsidiaries of the new entity, under the working title of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Under the new entity, there will be limited impact on students for at least two years.
The new vocational education system aims to:
- prioritise the needs of Māori, Pacific, remotely located and disabled learners, and learners who had difficulty in school.
- make it easier to move between on-the-job and off-the-job learning, access online study, and transfer to other regions.
- make it easier to move from secondary school to good jobs or further learning, and to keep upskilling and reskilling.
- make it easier to keep earning while you learn, so you won't need to choose between work and education.
- produce graduates who are work ready, with skills that fit industry needs today and in the future.
I have just enrolled/am partway through my study – will my studies be impacted?
No. Your study will not be impacted. You will be able to fully complete your study at Otago Polytechnic. This will apply regardless of whether you are studying a certificate, diploma, degree or postgraduate qualification.
I was thinking of enrolling in 2020 – will the same range of study options be available?
Yes, the same study options will be available in 2020.
Will study options be offered by Otago Polytechnic or by the new entity (the proposed title is of which is the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, NZIST)?
They will be the current Otago Polytechnic programmes but – from 1 April 2020 – offered through the new national entity. Current courses of study will be honoured, and our programme offerings will not be affected by the reform for 2020.
What services will be provided to students and who will provide them? Otago Polytechnic provide a lot of services that other ITPs may not provide.
We do not anticipate any reduction in services to students. The Government has stated current student support mechanisms will continue.
Is my scholarship still valid?
Yes – if you have been awarded a scholarship to study at Otago Polytechnic, it is still valid.
Will this impact class sizes?
No it will not.
Will there still be campuses in Dunedin, Central Otago and Auckland?
Yes, there will still be campuses in these locations.
Will this impact Fees Free or StudyLink?
No – Fees Free and StudyLink will remain the same.
What would happen to student representative roles and departments, eg OPSA and the student council? These are the main advocates for students.
OPSA will continue. Government has also signalled there will be student representation on any new governing councils, even if current governing councils are disbanded from 1 April 2020.