Learner community projects and internships

Can you support our learners and help them learn through real-life experience?

We offer hands-on learning, where our students learn by doing. They learn the skills then they practice them, often in a real-life environment, either on a work placement or internship, a research project, or in one of our purpose-built facilities to deliver goods and services to paying customers (at a great price, of course).

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Benefits for industry / community partners

Our learners contribute insight and knowledge that benefit our industry and community partners.

  • Learners bring fresh ideas, creativity and up-to-date knowledge
  • Learners are enthusiastic, motivated and inspiring
  • Opportunity to address a specific need or problem
  • No cost involved for learners’ hours spent as part of their course – anything further is by negotiation
  • Satisfaction of contributing to development of talented young people
  • Opportunity to help ensure graduates have the skills and experience industry needs
  • Opportunity to get to know learners, potentially reducing cost and risk of recruitment
  • Invitation to attend presentations and exhibitions of learner work

Benefits for students

We value partnerships with industry and community to help us provide learners with valuable real world learning opportunities. Learners need to be provided with work opportunities that are both suitable for their capabilities at the relevant level of study, and reasonable to expect of them in the time they have available. The work must provide a constructive learning opportunity for the students, so it is a win/win for the organisation and the learners. The details of the work to be done will be scoped with an organisation and recorded in a three-way agreement.


How does it work?

Overview of options

 Industry and community organisations have a range of options for working with our learners.

  • Work experience: Learners observe and learn to be work-ready. 
  • Apprenticeship: This is structured learning on the job towards a qualification.
  • Internship, placement, integrated practice: Learners apply knowledge and skills at your workplace. 
  • Clinical placement or fieldwork: Some learners are required to have clinical experience for registration in their profession. 
  • Applied research project, capstone or studio project, community project: Learners apply knowledge and skills to solve a real world need or problem for you.

With the exception of apprenticeships, students’ time is usually unpaid because they are engaged in learning as part of their course of study.

What you can expect of our learners

You can expect learners to:

  • apply skills they have acquired already through classroom exercises, workshops, case studies, scenarios and simulations
  • spend a minimum number of hours
  • perform to a standard relative to their level of study
  • be available for an agreed period
  • be respectful, culturally safe, and attentive
  • comply with Otago Polytechnic policies including ethics
  • be kept informed of progress
What we expect of you

We expect you to:

  • be interested in our learners’ development
  • provide learners with the information they need to do their work
  • identify any information that they need to keep confidential
  • be reasonably available to meet with learners
  • provide feedback to learners in a constructive manner
  • complete a report at completion of the project
  • raise any concerns with the learners' supervisor in a timely way
  • meet health and safety obligations when learners are on your premises
  • The privacy of the personal information of your patients or clients will be respected by Otago Polytechnic and our learners.
  • Your confidential information will not be used or disclosed by learners or by Otago Polytechnic except as required to complete internal course-related documentation.
  • Learner work may be promoted publicly by Otago Polytechnic and by the learners.
Exclusion of liability
  • Neither the learners nor Otago Polytechnic have any liability for your use of the learners’ work.
  • Neither the learners nor Otago Polytechnic give any guarantee that the work produced by the learners will be ready to be used by you without additional work and/or costs of implementation.
Intellectual Property
  • Learners own the intellectual property they create (for example designs, software) unless otherwise negotiated.
  • You have the right to use the learners’ work (non-exclusive licence).
Work Placement Policy

Contact us

If you would like to explore any of these options to support learners, please get in touch with the relevant Otago Polytechnic school or email the research office.