Collaborations – whether with iwi, students, businesses or educational institutions – are at the heart of our philosophy for learning and growth.
Diversity and inclusion
Rainbow Tick Certified
We welcome and include everyone regardless of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, religious or ethical beliefs or political opinions.
We are proud to be the first ITP (Institute of Technology and Polytechnics) to have been awarded the Rainbow Tick and one of the first organisations in the South Island to gain the certification.
Rainbow Tick certification is granted to organisations that complete a diversity and inclusion certification process.
To gain certification, Otago Polytechnic showed, against a number of criteria, that it is diverse, open and inclusive as an employer, and follows best practice in LGBTTQIA+ workplace inclusion. That includes strategies and policies that specifically mention inclusion; reporting on inclusion at all levels, including governance; and training offered to staff.
Industry influencing education
Permanent External Advisory Committee (PEACs)
PEACs are the key formal mechanism for Otago Polytechnic’s highly valued, two-way partnerships with industry. PEACs represent members of the wider community who have an informed interest in a particular subject area we offer, ensuring the quality, relevance, scope and currency of our programmes. They may advise on trends within industry and the community, job market realities and projections, or suggest areas for research.
Auckland International Campus (AIC)
Otago Polytechnic is pleased to partner with Future Skills Academy in a joint venture to create opportunities for international students to study our business and English language programmes in New Zealand’s largest city. This is done via our international campus Auckland International Campus (AIC), which caters exclusively to international students in New Zealand.
Study abroad and exchange partnerships
Through these partnerships, we provide the opportunity for students from Otago Polytechnic to study at an overseas institution in an area similar to what they are studying here. This is likewise for international students who would like to come to New Zealand and study at Otago Polytechnic for one or two semesters.
Making a difference
We are very proud of our many partnerships that support our goals to make a difference to society and the environment. Business and community partnerships occur across the Polytechnic, involving staff and students and pursuing ambitions great and small. Each year, student projects contribute thousands of hours towards community needs.
In 2014, 138 community projects were identified across the Polytechnic, involving input from staff and students. Examples range from installing wifi on the Taieri Gorge Railway to offer pre-recorded commentaries in various languages, campaigning against drunken violence in collaboration with Dunedin Police, and converting waste into fertiliser with Central Otago worm farm operator Central Wormworx – among many more. We welcome your ideas and opportunities.
The industry-focused education we provide is greatly valued by our community. The Otago Polytechnic Education Foundation has been established to enable individuals and organisations to easily contribute to students’ educational experiences. Tax deductible donations can be made to the Foundation, and used to support organisational projects, or enable students or recent graduates to pursue opportunities and goals. Donations may also be targeted to fund specific initiatives such as scholarships, international experiences, facilities or research activities. Please contact us to discuss how you can make a contribution to the education we provide.
Community collaboration remains key to the successful Otago Polytechnic charity house project, which is now in its ninth year. Since its inception, the scheme has raised more than $820,000 for Otago charities, a record we and our partners are incredibly proud of. This year, 20 companies including principal sponsor Metro Realty donated time, materials, craftsmanship and advertising to the initiative. The funds raised are distributed by the nationally coordinated fundraising effort, United Way. Recipients in Otago have included Stopping Violence Dunedin; Carers’ Society Otago; ME Information, Systems and Support and Clutha Enterprise Trust’s Making a Difference Youth Development programme.
Partnership with the Cancer Society
The relationship between Otago Polytechnic and the Cancer Society's Otago and Southland Division was strengthened in 2014, when the institute became the naming rights sponsor of the Society's Spring Ball. The annual ball is a major fundraising event for the charity and is a cause Otago Polytechnic is proud to support. Otago Polytechnic staff and graduates already contribute directly to the care of those with cancer through Nursing, Social Services and Occupational Therapy programmes, while others such as Physical Activity, Health and Wellness place an emphasis on preventive activities.
Australian sustainability awards
The continued success of Otago Polytechnic's comprehensive sustainability strategy was recognised with a nomination in the prestigious 2014 Green Gown Awards Australasia. The Awards acknowledge Australasian tertiary institutions for best sustainability practice within operations, curriculum and research. Otago Polytechnic was a finalist in the category Continual Improvement - Institutional Change.
MoU with Bougainville Polytechnic College
The Polytechnic signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the new Bougainville Polytechnic College to deliver technical and health programmes in the region, and to establish quality control systems and staff training.
Kowhai Centre counselling support
The School of Social Services delivered 200 hours of free counselling to members of the public in 2014 through its Kowhai Centre initiative. The Centre responds to community demand for free counselling services while affording second-year Bachelor of Social Services students the chance to gain real-world experience. Previously only available to the Dunedin public, the Kowhai Centre established an outreach in the rural community setting of East Otago in July 2014, filling an identified community need.
The impetus to develop a Pasifika Strategic Framework for Otago Polytechnic came from the External Pacific Advisory Committee which is a group of local Pasifika community leaders formed in 2012, whose principal responsibility is to advise the Polytechnic’s Chief Executive and Leadership Team on matters considered to be of importance in meeting the Polytechnic’s objective to increase the participation and success of Pasifika learners. Advice may be by way of a recommendation, or by providing a range of views that reflect the community perspectives.
The Otago Polytechnic Pasifika Strategic Framework has been developed to articulate Pasifika aspirations for tertiary education. The Framework represents a model based on community partnership, with the intention of building a tertiary system where Pasifika students are encouraged and supported to succeed.
Pasifika Strategic Framework