Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic has agreed that Ara Institute of Canterbury will take over the provision of Nursing Education in Timaru.

Bachelor of Nursing students based in Timaru will start studying with Ara rather than Otago Polytechnic from 2018.

When Aoraki Polytechnic merged with CPIT two years ago, Otago Polytechnic took over the Aoraki programmes offered in Dunedin and CPIT took over all Aoraki programmes offered in Timaru. Before the merger, Aoraki had not offered a Nursing programme, however nursing education was offered by Otago Polytechnic to ensure nursing education was available in South Canterbury.  Now that the merger has taken effect, it is a natural transition for Ara to offer the Nursing papers at their campus, consolidating the tertiary provision for the region.

The current 31 (Equivalent Fulltime) Timaru-based Bachelor of Nursing students will study from Ara’s facilities, but will continue their education as usual with Otago Polytechnic until they graduate in two years’ time. Otago Polytechnic will withdraw from the delivery of the Bachelor of Nursing in Timaru once all students have successfully completed their programme.

Timaru-based nursing lecturers, one full time and one part time, have been offered the opportunity to transfer from Otago Polytechnic to be employed by Ara. They will continue to teach the current Otago Polytechnic nursing students until their graduation.

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive, Phil Ker, said it’s important that current Timaru Bachelor of Nursing students complete their qualification and graduate from Otago Polytechnic.

“Otago Polytechnic’s focus is to ensure our students continue to receive the best education through this transition. We have been working closely with Ara to make it a seamless change. Otago Polytechnic’s Nursing programme continues to be offered in Dunedin and attracts students from all over the country,” Mr Ker said.

The South Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) welcomed the move. Ara and Otago Polytechnic both work closely with the DHB, which will continue to ensure that Timaru-based students from both institutes have access to work placements, graduate programmes and employment opportunities.

Lisa Blackler, Director Patient, Nursing and Midwifery, South Canterbury DHB, is pleased that a locally based option for Nursing education will continue. 

“Beginning one’s career at South Canterbury DHB exposes you to fantastic hands-on clinical scenarios that you may not experience at the larger DHBs. This truly ensures our nursing staff have a wide scope of skills which impacts immensely on growing our nursing calibre. And with such a strong foundation here, we look to retain highly skilled staff who can boomerang internationally in the hope they bring new ideas and innovations and return to South Canterbury,” she said.

Otago Polytechnic will expand its Nursing provision in Dunedin and will employ new staff here, so the institute is not losing EFTs (Equivalent Full Time Students) or staffing numbers.

Read about Nursing at Otago Polytechnic.

Read about this in the Timaru Herald and on the Foreign Affairs website.

Expiry: 16 Aug 2017