Polytechnics have traditionally specialised in vocational training, but that role has expanded over the last decade to meet the needs of learners and the economy. Many are involved in research activities, particularly in applied and technological areas and other degrees.
Twenty-four institutions in New Zealand are part of the polytechnic and institute of technology system and provide education and training in a wide range of industry and occupation based vocational studies. Many of these institutions offer academic and vocational degree programs as well. Specialised training for teachers is available at colleges of education, which provide studies in early-childhood, primary and secondary education. Additional university studies may be undertaken as part of these courses. All colleges offer specialist courses for trained teachers.
Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology are state-funded tertiary institutions who provide a wide range of education and training programs including full degree and some post-graduate courses. They operate on similar lines to the TAFE education institutions in Australia.
There are 25 Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology throughout New Zealand with a total of over 45,000 full-time students and a similar number of part-time students. These institutions are located in all the main cities and in most provincial cities. Receive free Study in New Zealand information.
Historically the Polytechnics have focussed on vocational and practical education program preparing students for industry. Over the past 10 years these institutions have expanded their program to become more business and technology focussed and to offer a wide range of recognised degree program approved by the New Zealand Government. All Polytechnics and Institutes belong to The Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand.
Polytechnics and Institutes Degrees and Courses
Courses are offered in a wide variety of disciplines and there can be several different levels of entry for students who wish to study a particular programme. For example a student may not have the academic or English level required to directly enter a degree program at the Polytechnic but they can have the option of beginning with an introductory Certificate and/or Diploma course which can qualify later a student for entry into the degree. This ability to begin studies at different levels to study towards a degree is called 'staircasing' and is generally not an option at traditional Universities. Entry criteria for Polytechnic degrees is similar to Universities and students must meet the academic and English (IELTS 6.0 or 6.5) requirements before being accepted into the degree program.
Polytechnic courses are wide ranging and can include:
- Administration Hospitality and Hotel Training
- Agriculture Landscaping
- Architecture Media and TV
- Art and Design
- Motor Mechanics
- Restaurant Cooking
- Electrical Engineering
- Engineering Sports
- English Language (ESL)
- Forestry Technology
- Travel and Tourism
Many Polytechnics and Institutes have provided training programs for overseas Governments and also have a close working association with industry and business in New Zealand.
Polytechnics normally operate a two semester programs similar to Universities beginning in February and ending in November with the semester break in July. Some programs allow students to begin in the second semester.
Degree tuition fees range from NZ$10,000 to NZ$16,000 per year depending on the course of study. Certificate and Diploma programs are a little cheaper.