Student rights & responsibilities

Kia hiwa ra! Kia hiwa ra. We are committed to providing an environment that is enjoyable, safe and secure for all learners, staff and visitors. Read on to learn about student rights and responsibilities.

This document provides key information, lists the rights and responsibilities and an overview of some of the policies that affect all learners at Otago Polytechnic Limited, both domestic and international. 

These policies are available in full on the Otago Polytechnic Limited’s website Policy Library via the Student Hub or can be obtained from the Otago Polytechnic Limited Students’ Association (OPSA).

Policies are subject to review and revision. For any significant change, there is a consultation phase that enables you to have your say. Following approval of new or changed policies that affect learners, OPSA is notified.

Assistance with any of the information covered in this document can be obtained from Otago Polytechnic Limited staff or the OPSA office (located in the Mason Centre, Forth Street, phone 03 477 6974, e-mail OPSAPREZ@op.ac.nz

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Otago Polytechnic Limited provides a range of support services for its domestic and international learners, some of which are outlined below. Remember that if you are unsure of what to do, you can contact the Academic Registry, located on the ground floor of the Mason Centre, your college/school office, members of the Student Success Team, Te Punaka Ōwheo, or the Otago Polytechnic Limited Students Association (OPSA) who are there to help and advocate for you, all these facilities are located in the Hub or each is available via email (refer below to Additional Information).

The services below, and others, are also described in the Career Pathways and pamphlets available at the various campuses.

There is a vast amount of information available for learners on the Otago Polytechnic Limited website, the Student Hub and Moodle, our Learning Management System. We encourage you to become familiar with these information sources.

We are committed to providing an environment that is enjoyable, safe, and secure for all learners, staff and visitors. All Otago Polytechnic Limited learners should be guided by principles of openness, fairness, and respect, and should be able to engage in the activities of learning in a manner that strives for excellence.

The rights and responsibilities in this document apply to all learners and act as a guide to the policies and practices within Otago Polytechnic Limited.

Application / Enrolment

When you sign your application form and e-confirmation of enrolment/study contract form you agree to comply with and be bound by the rules and regulations of Otago Polytechnic Limited.

Before you can be enrolled you must provide to Otago Polytechnic Limited a verified (certified) copy of a formal document that proves you are who you say you are. This document is usually a Birth Certificate or Passport. A Marriage Certificate or Deed Poll document may also be required if your name differs from that on your Birth Certificate or Passport. Staff in the Academic Registry or at our other campuses can explain this to you if you are not sure. The Ministry of Social Development also requires us to collect certain information. Make sure that you fill out all the mandatory fields in your Otago Polytechnic Limited application form or it may hold up your enrolment.  Also ensure you complete all mandatory fields when completing your StudyLink loan application (if applicable), your StudyLink allowance application (if applicable).

Note your enrolment is not complete until you have provided all required documentation and information.  This must be provided before the start date of your programme of study/course, otherwise, you will not be enrolled.

In 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic vaccine passes are also required to physically access any of our campus facilities. This requirement does not apply if your programme is delivered wholly online.

If your programme of study/course lasts longer than one (1) year, you will have to enrol each year and you will need to reconfirm your details for each year of the programme of study/course or if you enrol in a different programme of study/course.

You are expected to keep your details in the Student Management System up to date, and this information is accessible when you are logged into the Student Hub.

Assessments

As a learner, you are entitled to assessments that are valid, fair, and reliable (refer to the Assessment and Moderation Policy).

Important points regarding this policy are:

  • You will be informed in writing of the dates and times of your assessments in the first two weeks of your programme of study/course(s). You will also be informed in writing of any procedures that pertain to resits or re-submissions.
  • There are definite rules regarding cheating and plagiarism (using someone else’s work and pretending it is your work). Breaking these rules may result in an academic penalty (refer to the Academic Integrity Policy).
  • You have the right to see your marked assessment/examination script and a marking schedule for written assessments.
  • If you believe you have been unfairly treated in an assessment, you have the right to appeal the decision. Often these misunderstandings can be cleared up with your assessor but if you are not satisfied you should follow the process set out in the Academic Appeal Process for Learners Note that the appeal process contains time constraints that must be met, so please ensure you apply early.
  • If you are prevented from doing your best in an assessment because of illness or circumstances beyond your control or from completing the assessment at all, you may be eligible for consideration because of impaired performance. Refer to Impaired Performance Aegrotat Policy for procedures.

If you have any concerns about how you are assessed you may wish to discuss this with your teacher, Programme Manager/Leader, Head of College, the Student Success Team or OPSA.

Attendance / Engagement

During your time at Otago Polytechnic Limited you will engage in different types of learning – for instance, traditional face-to-face teaching, online synchronous and asynchronous learning, self-directed learning and electronic learning activities such as online learning materials, online discussions, or assessments, as well as work experience placements, block courses, clinical placements.

Otago Polytechnic Limited expects full and active participation from all learners. Our experience clearly shows that failure to attend or participate in required activities will impact your ability to successfully meet the requirements of your programme of study/course and may result in failure (refer to the Programme Entry, Continuation and Exclusion Policy).

If you are sick and unable to attend face-to-face or online sessions or there is some other valid reason preventing you from attending, you should let the College administrator or teacher know as soon as practicable. 

Compassionate consideration

If you withdraw after the last date for withdrawal with a refund, you may be eligible for compassionate consideration for circumstances/events outside of your control.  Note evidence will be required to support such an application.

Compassionate consideration may be considered for the following reasons:

  • Medical, supported in writing by a health professional.
  • Work-related, supported by a letter from an employer.

Compassionate withdrawals are reviewed by the Deputy Chief Executive: Corporate Services (Manukura Tuarua – Ara Mahi) not the College; Academic Registry will advise the outcome of the application for compassionate consideration.

Complaints / Discipline

Should you have a concern/complaint, or a concern/complaint be made against you, this should initially be raised and resolved by the persons directly involved.  If a resolution is not possible the Te Kaihāpai can be contacted directly or OPSA to provide support.  Any complaint may be referred to the Te Kaihāpai to investigate an allegation and determine a pathway forward for resolution (refer to policy Resolution of Learner Complaints Policy).

Should you wish to make a complaint, refer to the Resolution of Learner Complaints Policy and this will guide you through the complaints process. The complaints process consists of a number of stages; there is a choice for the learner at each stage and there are also prescribed practices for both learners and staff.

If you break the rules, you may be subject to disciplinary procedures. The Te Kaihāpai has the authority to decide on a range of disciplinary measures including suspending or excluding you, cancelling your academic results and/or fining you (refer to the Programme Entry, Continuation and Exclusion Policy and Learner Discipline Policy).

Domestic and International Learner Refund Rules

Domestic Learners Refund Rules

DATE OF ADVICE OF WITHDRAWAL

CLASSIFICATION

REFUND DUE (OF FEES PAID)

LESS ADMINISTRATION CHARGE PER WITHDRAWAL FORM

ACADEMIC RESULT

Before the programme/course start date

Not started.

100 %

No fee

No result recorded

For first 10%

Programme/course commenced

100 %

No fee

No result recorded

Before a course start date and where a prerequisite

the course is not   passed.

Not started

100%

No Fee

No result recorded

After the last date for withdrawal with a refund but before 80% of the programme/course is completed

Withdrawal

Nil

Nil

Withdrawn

After 80% of the programme/course duration completed

Any withdrawal from a    programme will not be processed in the SMS

Nil

Nil

Did Not Complete

(DNC) or Grade attained (Refer to Grade Table for the programme)

 

International Learner Refund Rules

DATE OF ADVICE OF WITHDRAWAL

    CLASSIFICATION

REFUND DUE  (OF FEES PAID)

LESS ADMINISTRATION CHARGE PER WITHDRAWAL FORM

ACADEMIC RESULT

Notification within 7 days of visa/permit having been declined, and before the programme start date

 

Not started

 

     100%

 

       $100 GST incl.

 

No result recorded

Within 7 days of the programme start date

Not started

  100%

$500 GST incl.

No result recorded

After the start date and within the first 2 weeks

Programme commenced

  100%

$500 GST incl.

No result recorded

After the programme start date, withdrawal due to academic or disciplinary procedures

 

Programme commenced

 

Nil

 

Nil

Did Not Complete (DNC) or grades attained (Refer to Grade Table)

After the programme         start date and visa/permit not obtained

Programme commenced

Nil

Nil

 

Agent fees

 

Nil

Nil

 

Feedback

Here at Otago Polytechnic Limited, we welcome your feedback which we use to improve what we do. We have a number of mechanisms in place to receive feedback and on many occasions throughout your time with us, you will be asked to provide feedback on your programme of study, courses, your teachers, and your experiences with us. We have Otago Polytechnic Limited-wide surveys, individual course evaluations, and feedback on teaching. These give us important information about our programmes of study, courses, colleges, staff and about your experiences. The surveys also help us to make comparisons across Otago Polytechnic Limited and with other tertiary providers in New Zealand and Australia.

Most surveys and evaluations are online. We strongly encourage you to take these opportunities to have your voice heard to drive improvement during your time at Otago Polytechnic Limited and in the future.

We take all feedback seriously and use it to develop our programmes of study/courses and support services to match the needs and requirements of our learner body. Steps taken to address feedback are reported back to you through programmes of study, courses, colleges and on Moodle.

Having your say does make a difference. With your help, we can ensure that all our learners have outstanding experiences, that Otago Polytechnic Limited meets the needs of all its learners and that we achieve our vision of being New Zealand’s leading Polytechnic. 

International learners

While these rights and responsibilities apply to all learners, Otago Polytechnic Limited is a signatory to The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.   

A Pre-Departure and Arrival Guide for International Learners outlining specific rights and responsibilities is given to all prospective and enrolling international learners.

 

The respective Guides contain specific information which the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice requires.

Likewise, international learners also have additional responsibilities to maintain the conditions of their study visas.  Any issues regarding international fees that are not able to be resolved refer to Learner FeesWithdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund Policy.  Any other complaints   refer to Resolution of Learner Complaints Policy (refer to complaints/discipline section below).  Complaints not  able to be resolved within the Polytechnic  to the International learner's satisfaction can be referred to the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s (NZQA) website for the information to make a complaint. 

Loans and Allowances

StudyLink can provide financial support to you as a learner and can help you to make informed decisions about finances and other study-related issues.

Make sure you understand this policy before enrolling

If you want to leave your programme of study/course, you must formally withdraw by filling out and signing a Withdrawal Form. This is also available from the College Administrator.  It must be completed and then returned to your College Administrator. Withdrawal is confirmed from the date this form is received by Otago Polytechnic Limited/OPAIC and will be used when processing your withdrawal in the Student Management System (SMS). The final date for withdrawal with a refund from a programme of study/course is identified on your invoice.

NB: Administration fees (for example Assessment of Prior Learning fees) are separate charges and are normally not included with fees refunds if you withdraw before the last date for withdrawal with a refund.

Please note: If you have more than four (4) consecutive weeks of non-attendance in classes or non-participation in required online activities associated with your programme of study/course, and we are unable to contact you, you will be officially withdrawn. 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) - Including Credit Transfer, Cross Credits and Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning

Otago Polytechnic Limited wants to allow you to apply for credit for study you have already finished or for work or other experience you may have that will help you with your programme of study/course. If you have completed formal tertiary study at this or another recognised tertiary institution, you may be eligible to have credits transferred to your programme of study. Informal learning in the form of work or other life experiences may also be recognised. The process for crediting previous study or experience is outlined in the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

For credit transfer and cross credits, you will be required to provide evidence of any prior achievements such as your NZQA Record of Learning, Results Transcript or Academic Transcript from another education provider. As the cost varies for RPL this will be discussed on an individual basis. 

Rights

Our commitment to you is to create an environment where you have all the information and tools required to succeed in your programme of study. The services you should expect are:

  • To receive clear, accurate and up to date course advice for all programmes of study/courses.
  • To have quality learning and teaching experiences from enthusiastic teachers who communicate effectively with you.
  • To be informed about what is expected of you as a learner.
  • To have access to information that will assist in your programme of study/course, including relevant policies and procedures that affect you as a learner.
  • To be supported in your learning with up-to-date information and course content by teachers who are current in their respective areas of expertise.
  • To receive clear information on how and when assessments will be conducted.
  • To receive fair, timely and constructive information on your performance in your programme of study/course.
  • To be able to provide feedback about your programme of study/course and teaching in which you are engaged, without fear or anxiety about giving that feedback.
  • To receive feedback on changes to the programme of study/course as a consequence of feedback provided by learners.
  • To have reasonable opportunities to have a say about how Otago Polytechnic Limited operates.
  • To be treated with respect by all learners and all staff.
  • To learn in an environment that is free from bullying, harassment, or discrimination, including all online forums.
  • To have access to clear and appropriate procedures for dealing with grievances.
  • To have reasonable access to facilities, learner support services, and appropriate resources.
  • To be members of OPSA.

You have the right to a safe and supportive environment and should feel comfortable asking questions or clarifying information with staff. Should you have any concerns or feel you are being disadvantaged; a good place to start is talking to your Programme Manager/Leader, your Head of College, OPSA or a member of the Student Success Team.

Responsibilities

There are a number of general rules within Otago Polytechnic Limited’s policies which are set to protect people’s health, safety, your rights and the rights of others. In exercising your rights as a learner, you are expected to accept the following responsibilities:

  • To take responsibility for your behaviour and to take responsibility for your learning including:
  • To be self-motivated and self-directed including undertaking preparation work when expected.
  • To actively participate in your programme of study/course.
  • To put your best efforts into your study.
  • To meet all obligations such as due dates for work and assessments.
  • To submit work that is your own.
  • To keep to time with classes and timetables or agreed appointments.
  • To treat all individuals and property with respect.
  • To have awareness for the well-being and safety of others.
  • To participate in providing constructive and useful feedback on teaching, courses, and programmes of study.
  • To promote an environment that is safe and free from bullying, harassment, and discrimination, including all online forums.
  • To ensure that you do not bring any weapon(s) to any Otago Polytechnic Limited facility/activity.
  • To make yourself aware of policies, procedures, and rules and to abide by them.
  • To use the resources and facilities of Otago Polytechnic Limited with regard to others.
  • To inform the College if you are unable to attend class, practicals or assessments.
  • To ensure that you have sufficient personal insurance cover for loss of property in the event that your property is damaged, lost or stolen.
  • To be aware and comply with the Copyright Act 1994, refer to the Academic Integrity Policy
  • To be aware and comply with Otago Polytechnic Limited’s position on intellectual property with respect to learner outputs or outcomes, refer to the Intellectual Property Policy and Intellectual Property – Mātauranga Māori Policy

The above responsibilities also apply to all staff.

Structure of the Polytechnic

The Otago Polytechnic Limited Board (Board) is the governing body of Otago Polytechnic Limited. Members of the Board are appointed by the Minister of Education. The Board usually meets monthly and has defined responsibilities for governing the Polytechnic.

The Board employs the Chief Executive (Tumu Whakarae), Dr Megan Gibbons, who is responsible for leading and managing the Polytechnic. The Chief Executive (Tumu Whakarae) employs all other staff including the Executive Leadership Team:

The organisational chart link below illustrates the reporting lines to the Chief Executive (Tumu Whakarae) and the Executive Leadership Team.

View the organisation chart

Otago Polytechnic Limited is required to have an Academic Committee which ensures quality programmes of study; it is made up of representatives of key groups and learner representatives. It meets monthly and is chaired by the Chief Executive (Tumu Whakarae) or delegate. Academic Committee has a number of Standing Committees such as the Research and Postgraduate Committee, and Programme Approvals Committee.

A number of other committees are convened for specific purposes such as the Research Ethics Committee, and the Library Committee. Should learners wish to raise a matter with any of these committees, they need to contact the Chief Executive’s (Tumu Whakarae) Office who will be able to put you in touch with the relevant person.

Otago Polytechnic Limited has Dunedin campus which is divided into five (5) academic Colleges:

  • College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing (CDP)
  • College of Engineering, Construction and Living Sciences (ECL)
  • College of Health
  • College of Work Based Learning, including Central Otago
  • Te Maru Pumanawa/College of Creative Practice and Enterprise

 Plus the the international campus in Auckland, Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus.   Each academic area has a Head of College who is responsible for the academic management within their area and reports to the Deputy Chief Executive Academic Delivery (Manukura Tuarua – Ara Auahataka).

Otago Polytechnic Limited have a Memorandum of Understanding with Kāi Tahu and demonstrate this relationship in many ways by honouring and attending to appropriate protocols such as mihi whakatau and by ensuring that curriculum content and delivery includes appropriate Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi related learning.

We work closely with professions, industries, employers and advisory groups to ensure our programmes of study and teachers remain current and that we know what our graduates need to be able to do. We strive to provide a learning environment that challenges, inspires, and motivates all learners to gain the qualification and skills that are sought after by employers or that will equip graduates to establish their businesses.

We take pride in our personalised approach to learning, and we recognise the teacher: learner relationship as an important partnership to help learners to realise their potential and achieve their goals. Our programmes of study can have a face-to-face, mix of online, face to face/online, self-managed learning activities and authentic work experiences designed to help to learn and to develop capability.

Otago Polytechnic Limited have developed ways to measure learner capability with the intention that learners will be able to assess themself and track their progress and development. A final assessment on completion of a learner’s qualification will give them the information to share with future employer/s about their broader capability skills and readiness for work (refer below to Building Capability (Being Work Ready).

Unacceptable Behaviours

The following behaviours are not acceptable at Otago Polytechnic Limited, and may result in disciplinary action being taken: *

  • Disruptive behaviour which interferes with the rights and learning opportunities of others.
  • Language and imagery which is offensive (may be verbal, written or electronic).
  • Hand gestures of an offensive nature.
  • Carrying or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Any threatening, bullying or intimidatory behaviour or acts of aggression, including having any kind of weapon.
  • Any other criminal behaviour is likely to result in police or legal investigation.
  • Inappropriate use of Otago Polytechnic Limited computers, networks, including unauthorised access to Information Technology (IT) systems or IT services, cyber-bullying in any form on any platform (whether done on or off Otago Polytechnic Limited premises or networks).
  • Using Otago Polytechnic Limited supplied networks to view inappropriate material (whether Otago Polytechnic Limited owned computers, or on personal computers or personal devices).

The University of Otago’s Proctor who manages Campus Watch staff has delegated authority from Otago Polytechnic Limited to deal with our learners found behaving inappropriately or illegally.

* Refer to the “Complaint /Discipline” section.

Academic Progress

You are expected to make satisfactory progress during your programme of study. Each programme of study/course responsible staff member will manage and monitor your progress and our first option is always early intervention to find a way to ensure satisfactory academic progress.  Failure to make satisfactory academic progress (i.e., pass fifty percent (50%) or more credits in enrolled courses of study) will result in a review and in the first instance, you will be provided with opportunities to improve performance through support from the Student Success Team. Should you continue to fail to reach a satisfactory academic standard you may be excluded from study at Otago Polytechnic Limited for a period of one (1) year and/or be required to demonstrate your ability to succeed by finding a way for you to return to study (refer to the Programme Entry, Continuation and Exclusion Policy).

However, our first option is always to support you during your programme of study.

There are also potential implications with future StudyLink learner loans and allowances if you do not make satisfactory academic progress.  For all information regarding StudyLink loans and allowances refer to the StudyLink website 

International learners should also refer to the International Learner Attainment and Attendance Policy.

Harassment and Bullying

You have the right to study in a harassment and bully-free environment.  Otago Polytechnic Limited Harassment and Bullying Prevention and Management Policy provides guidance and procedures for dealing with harassment and bullying.

Harassment and bullying offend people.  In some instances, it may be unlawful.  Harassment may be sexual in nature or based on that person’s gender, race, colour, age, disability, physical appearance, marital or family status, religion, political opinion, or sexual orientation. Bullying is unwelcome, and unreasonable behaviour which includes victimisation, humiliation, undermining or threatening behaviour and may involve the actions of individuals or a group.

Harassment and bullying can be:

  • verbal behaviour – saying things to or about a person or talking within the hearing of others about subjects that may be offensive, shouting, mimicking.
  • visual behaviour – writing, drawing, posters, txt, pxt, posting and downloading or displaying offensive material and on any form of social media.
  • physical behaviour – inappropriate touching, gestures or invading personal space, being overbearing, excluding a person from a group.
  • behaviour that is hurtful, unwelcome, or offensive to the person receiving it.

The names of trained harassment and bullying contact people are displayed throughout Otago Polytechnic Limited, or you can contact any member of staff, Head of College or OPSA if you have a concern or complaint.

Privacy and Personal Information

Otago Polytechnic Limited collects and stores personal information to comply with the various statutes and/or regulations, relating to your enrolment and your academic progress and to provide you with evidence of your academic achievements.  This information may also be shared with other Otago Polytechnic Limited colleges/areas on a “need to know” basis and be used only to arrange appropriate support for you.

Where it is relevant, personal information may be disclosed to other agencies such as, but not limited to, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, NZQA, industry licencing and registration bodies, other tertiary institutions and providers of work experience or clinical placement for courses/ programmes that have w a practical component.

 All information is collected, stored, and managed in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.

In addition, when required by law, we will release information as directed. An information matching agreement exists between the Ministry of Social Development (Studylink) and Otago Polytechnic Limited, to enable payment of loans and allowances.

We will also provide information to OPSA for its membership records.

Upon failure to comply with the  International Learner Attainment and Attendance Policy, information may also be provided to the parent, guardian or caregiver of an International learner.

You have the right to request to see and correct, if necessary, the information you have provided. If you wish to enquire about your personal information held by Otago Polytechnic Limited, please contact the Academic Registry by email allAcademicRegistryTeam@op.ac.nz or telephone on 0800 762 786.

You will be required to provide some form of valid identification such as a driver’s licence or passport if you wish to access your personal information.

Finding the Right Programme

Information about available programmes of study/courses is published and available on the Otago Polytechnic Limited’s website. All programme staff in the relevant College/School can also provide you with more information if required.

Also, the Careers Advisor Team can provide information and guidance about programmes of study/courses. The Careers Advisor Team can be contacted through Student Success Team, or by emailing careers@op.ac.nz.

Enrolment Process

Once accepted into a programme of study/course you will receive a notification to log on to the portal where you will find your offer of a place.  You must accept this offer of a place and once you do this you will be sent a confirmation of offer and invoice.  This will include the programme of study and course(s) you are enrolled in, your user-name and password to access the Student Hub and your email.

If you are re-enrolling i.e., into the second year of a programme of study, you will be sent a further confirmation of enrolment to your preferred personal email and an invoice informing you of the programme of study and course(s) you are enrolled in for that year and it will include your user-name and password to access the Student Hub and email.

If there is a change in your enrolment at any time during your enrolment you will receive a confirmation of enrolment and an invoice containing the information as above.

PLEASE regularly check your confirmation of enrolment notification and invoice to ensure that all details are correct.  You must check your personal details such as an address, telephone number and personal email.

Fees

An indication of fees for each year of study is available on the Otago Polytechnic Limited website and specific Programme Information Sheets. Domestic learner full fee payments are due within ten (10) days of the programme of study/course start date (refer to your invoice).

Otago Polytechnic Limited accept a number of payment methods including EFT-POS, cheque, credit card, internet banking or StudyLink loan. Cash is not a preferred payment method and cash payments over $500 will not be accepted at Academic Registry due to the risk posed to the paying learner and Otago Polytechnic Limited staff. Bank deposit slips are available at Academic Registry for learners to take the money and the deposit slip to the Westpac Bank and pay their fees directly into the Otago Polytechnic Limited account, or learners can take the deposit slip to their bank for payment of their fees by transfer to Otago Polytechnic Limited. 

If you have not paid your fees, your enrolment is not complete. You might still be able to go to classes if you are waiting for a StudyLink loan or if you provide evidence that your employer is going to pay. If you do not pay, you may be asked to leave the programme of study /course. Outstanding unpaid fees will result in debt collection processes being implemented. This is undertaken through a debt collection agency. It is important to note that debt collection action would provide adverse information on a credit check against your name and may result in a declined credit application in the future.  It is important if you continue to receive monthly invoices from Otago Polytechnic Limited that you follow up with the Finance Department, email Finance@op.ac.nz as there may be an issue with your fees that needs to be resolved.  Please do not ignore these reminders.

If you owe the Otago Polytechnic Limited money for fees or any other item, you will be prevented from graduating or receiving your award until the debt has been paid in full. You may also be prevented from re-enrolling in further programmes of study /courses.

 If you have difficulty paying, talk to the Finance Department via email, Finance@op.ac.nz  

Any learner who wishes to dispute the fees due must do so within one (1) month of the invoice date. A request to review the fees or account balance must be made within this month, in writing to the Academic Registry, email AcademicRegistryTeam@op.ac.nz  At the discretion of Otago Polytechnic Limited, and with just cause, this period may be extended. Once the request is received, the review will be completed within seven (7) working days. Once the review is completed, any outstanding balance is due immediately.

Depending on the programme of study/course, fees charged will be one or several of (but not limited to): tuition fees, identification card fee, examination fee(s), Student Health Levy, Student Services Levy, and administration fee. Failure to pay any invoice(s) by the due date means you will then be liable for all costs and expenses (including legal costs, debt collection agent fees, and this may affect your credit rating) which may be incurred in the recovery or attempted recovery of the overdue amount from you. Under these circumstances, Otago Polytechnic Limited may give to, or obtain from, any relevant third-party information held about your personal or commercial credit arrangements.

Your academic results will be withheld for any programme of study/course where fees or any other debt remains unpaid. You will also be prevented from graduating or receiving your award(s) until your debt has been paid in full. You will also be prevented from re-enrolling in further programmes of study/course(s).

It is important if you are receiving monthly invoices from Otago Polytechnic Limited that you follow up with the Finance Department, email Finance@op.ac.nz as there may be an issue with your fees that needs to be resolved.  

Please do not ignore these reminders.

Thinking of leaving or changing your programme?
  • Finding that your programme of study/course is too tough, or not what you expected?
  • Family and personal problems getting in the way of study?
  • Feeling isolated?
  • Struggling to cope financially, or worried about debt?

You can sometimes have doubts about whether to continue with your studies, this is not unusual. It may be that something has happened recently that makes you question whether staying on is the right thing to do. Or it could be a gradual build-up of pressures that makes you question your ability to cope. It is at these times that leaving Otago Polytechnic Limited may seem to provide a quick solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem. But this may not be the right decision.

Have you stopped to think it through? 

Need to think about your academic options?

> Should you suspend your studies?

> Should you transfer programmes of study/course?

> Do you need additional study support?

Need to think about finances?

 > Are you getting all the money that you are entitled to?

> Are you worried about getting into debt?

> You will need to think about the financial consequences of leaving Otago Polytechnic Limited.

Need to think about employment?

> Do you need help with seeking employment?

> Does your CV and job-hunting skills need updating?

> Do you need help with finding part-time work?

It is very important that you allow time to reflect on these things. You should discuss your thoughts and plans with someone in the first instance.

What to do … 

Contact the Student Success Team by email studentsuccess@op.ac.nz or drop in and see them in the Hub  or phone 0800 762 786

OR

Contact Te Punaka Ōwheo (Māori Learner Support) or drop in and see them, phone 0800 762 786 or email tepunakaowheo@op.ac.nz

Withdrawals, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund of Fees

If you formally withdraw from a programme of study /course or part of a programme of study, you may be entitled to a fee refund. The refund policy is detailed, refer to the Withdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund Policy.

The key points of Otago Polytechnic Limited’s Withdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund Policy are specified in the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. These are also found on the Otago Polytechnic Limited’s application form, and by signing and submitting this indicates that you have read and agreed to these Terms and Conditions. It is important that you read these before signing the application form.

Completion of your Programme

Except for those completing some very short courses, you are entitled to an award for successfully completing your programme of study. This may be a certificate, diploma, undergraduate degree, or postgraduate degree.

Otago Polytechnic Limited holds graduation ceremonies in March and December. These are special occasions for celebrating your success. You will be allowed to invite guests and you will be required to wear appropriate academic regalia when collecting your award.

To graduate, you will need to have met some conditions such as completing your programme of study and having paid all fees including library fines and Student Health charges. You would normally expect to graduate at the next available graduation ceremony following the successful completion of your programme of study.

Refer to the Graduation Policy.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When signing and submitting your application form, this indicates that you have read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment these apply to all domestic and international learners.

Transfers

Transfers from one programme to another at Otago Polytechnic Limited are negotiated with the Head of College or Programme Leader. There are no penalties; however, there may be additional fees required or a refund may be due. Where a StudyLink loan has been used to pay fees, the refund will be returned to StudyLink, and a new loan is drawn down for the new programme of study.  This may require you to complete further documentation with StudyLink, it is important to contact StudyLink if there is a change to your programme of study/courses.  

Stand Alone/Short Courses refunds/withdrawal

For a standalone course which is part of a programme of study and for short courses, the last date for withdrawal with a refund is usually the first day of the course(s) or short course(s), which equates to ten percent (10%) of the course(s). A $50 GST incl. administration fee will be charged for a withdrawal after the course(s) starts and before ten percent (10%) elapses.

Building Capability (work readiness)

Our programmes are designed to help you build your capabilities so that you are ready for work when you graduate. At Otago Polytechnic being capable (work ready) means that you are personally effective, future focused and able to practise sustainably. Capability means being able to take action in your work and your personal life.

As a personally effective individual you will be skilled at making the best use of the time and resources at your disposal to achieve goals. You will have strong interpersonal skills and build positive relationships, taking responsibility for your actions and seeking feedback to improve your performance.

As a future focused individual you will be able to look forward and will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and attributes to seize learning opportunities throughout life to broaden your abilities and to adapt to change.

In practising sustainably you will be able to apply frameworks of sustainable practice (ecological, social, political and economic) to the context of your industry or field of study, in order to challenge existing practices and develop more sustainable ways of operating.

Our programmes are designed to purposefully build learner capability. They do this by incorporating a variety of authentic work experiences including practical learning, individual and group projects, simulations and real world work placements. These, and other self-managed learning opportunities, will enable you to acquire the skills, knowledge, attitudes and confidence to follow your chosen career pathway and to be ready for employment or self-employment.

In addition to the specific knowledge and skills needed for your qualification you will learn about sustainability because we recognise the need to prepare our graduates to contribute to a sustainable future, where economic, social, political and environmental dimensions are in balance.

Adult literacy and numeracy skills are important to maintain a healthy society, to help individuals to develop, and to build a skilled and productive workforce. Literacy and numeracy is embedded in all our courses at levels 1-3 and all learners in these programmes are required to complete the adult literacy and numeracy assessment at both the beginning and end of their programme. These assessments measure gains in literacy and numeracy made during the programme.

Digital information literacy is essential for modern life. As a learner you will use computer and internet skills to access your learning material, produce your course work, and to communicate with your teachers. Graduates from Otago Polytechnic will be well equipped with digital information literacy to participate in a knowledge-based society.

We have a memorandum of understanding with Kāi Tahu and demonstrate this relationship in many ways by honouring and attending to appropriate protocols such as mihi whakatau and by ensuring that curriculum content and delivery includes appropriate Treaty of Waitangi related learning.

We work closely with professions, industries and employers and advisory groups to ensure our programmes and teachers remain current and that we know what our graduates need to be able to do. We strive to provide you with a learning environment that challenges, inspires and motivates you to gain the qualification and skills that are sought after by employers or that will equip you to establish your own business.

We take pride in the personalised approach to learning and we recognise the teacher: learner relationship as an important partnership to help you to realise your potential and achieve your goals. Our on-campus programmes have a mix of online, face to face, self-managed learning activities and authentic work experiences designed to help you learn and to develop capability.

We are developing ways to measure learner capability with the intention that you will be able to assess yourself and track your progress and development. A final assessment on completion of your qualification will give you information you can share with a future employer about your broader capability skills and readiness for work.

Additional Information

Emergencies

Follow all instructions for emergency evacuations whether practice drills or a real emergency. Note, Otago Polytechnic Limited has regular evacuation fire drill practice.

Evacuation Procedure

On the continuous sounding of the alarm:

  • All occupants must evacuate the building in an orderly manner via the stairwell or nearest designated exit. The lift must not be used.
  • All doors should be closed when the area is clear.
  • Occupants should assemble in a designated area clear of the building access.
  • Follow the direction of staff who are trained in the Otago Polytechnic Limited emergency evacuation procedure.

Refer to evacuation plans displayed in hallways and classrooms for assembly points.

Occupants must not return to the building until an all-clear is given. The all-clear is usually given by intermittent short bursts of fire alarm sounder, or as instructed by the Building Warden or the Fire Service.

Earthquake

The evacuation procedure does not apply to earthquakes. You must

  • Stay where you are.
  • Move no more than a few steps to a safe place, drop, cover, and hold on.
  • If inside, get under a heavy piece of furniture or a doorway, or stay low alongside an inside wall. Keep away from windows.
  • If in a lift, stop at the nearest floor and get out.
  • If outside, stay outside and keep clear of buildings and powerlines.

Once the shaking has stopped check on and support other learners and staff in your area. Then if necessary and only when safe proceed to evacuate.

Parking

Parking is a challenge for staff, learners, and visitors to North Dunedin.

Learners and staff are encouraged to use alternative modes of transport. Learners are not permitted to park on the Otago Polytechnic Limited campus. All Otago Polytechnic Limited car parks are allocated to visitor parking, accessibility parking, deliveries or service, fleet vehicles and paid staff parking. There is no ‘warning’ process other than the signage at the main entrances to each site - if you are unsure check with Academic Registry.  A permit is required to park in all visitor carparks, these are available at the Academic Registry and must be booked in advance.

If your car is parked where it should not be, it will be towed and can be recovered from Reilly's Towage & Salvage on telephone 03 477 5787 or at 63-65 Ward Street, Dunedin.

You will be liable for any fees/costs resulting from having your vehicle towed.

Smokefree - auahi kore

Otago Polytechnic Limited has a Smokefree Policy (Smokefree/Auahi Kore) which prohibits smoking (including vaping and e-cigarettes) in all campus areas and includes:

  • All buildings, including balconies.
  • All outdoor areas on site.
  • Vehicles owned or used for work purposes by Otago Polytechnic Limited.
  • The Otago Polytechnic Limited Childcare Centre – Polykids.

Anyone (learners, staff, or visitors) who are found smoking in any part of Otago Polytechnic Limited premises will be asked to move off the premises. If the same person is found smoking again on Otago Polytechnic Limited premises an instant fine of $20 may be imposed.

Any money collected from these fines will be donated to a charity.

Otago Polytechnic Limited encourages smokers to be considerate of others in open spaces not controlled by Otago Polytechnic Limited, such as public footpaths and encourages smokers to consider the effects on the environment when disposing of cigarette butts and to be aware that:

  • There is a risk of fire if cigarettes/butts are placed in rubbish bins.
  • Stormwater drains, and gutters lead directly to waterways and cigarette butts harm these.

Support is available for learners who wish to stop smoking from Student Health and Quitline 0800 778 778 offers a free service with after-hours support.

Sustainability

At Otago Polytechnic, we have made a commitment to specialise in education for sustainability. This is because we recognise the need to prepare our graduates to contribute to a sustainable future, where economic, social and environmental dimensions are in balance.

Our approach has three key parts

  1. Educating Sustainable Practitioners - To put in place teaching and learning opportunities so that every learner (regardless of programme or level) will graduate with the skills and knowledge to act as a 'sustainable practitioner'. These teaching and learning opportunities will extend to staff members and the wider community.
  2. Sustainable Campus - To create a sustainable campus we will be working towards ensuring that the principles and practice of sustainable development are embedded across Otago Polytechnic and all its activities.
  3. Centre for Sustainable Practice - To operate the Centre for Sustainable Practice as a business unit of the organisation that will serve as an incubator for sustainable practice education, provide consultancy services, conduct research into sustainable products and services and host seminars and events. 

And finally….

We are keen that your time with us is safe, enjoyable, positive, and rewarding. We welcome your feedback through learner surveys and class representatives on any matters that are affecting your study.

Dr Megan Gibbons

Chief Executive
Otago Polytechnic Limited.

Date: 03 May 2022

Version: 2022, v2

Contact us

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.