The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

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At a Glance
Short Name : Open Polytechnic
Motto : {{{Please give motto, if any}}}
Established: 1946
Chancellor :
Vice-Chancellor/CEO: Dr Caroline Seelig
Staff strength :
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Other Staff:
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Students Strength: {{{Enrolment with year}}}
Location : Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Campus : Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Website :

About the Polytechnic

The Open Polytechnic is New Zealand's specialist provider of open and distance learning, and internationally recognised in its field. It offers a wide range of subjects from certificate, to diploma and degree level.

Historical Development

Open Polytechnic began life as the Technical Correspondence School in 1946, providing resettlement training for returned servicemen and women following World War II. In 1963, it became the Technical Correspondence Institute (TCI) and began offering national training in trades subjects.

As part of wider education reforms, the institution was renamed The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand in 1990, becoming the specialist national provider of open and distance learning at tertiary level.

The following years were a period of profound transformation, with many new programmes and courses introduced in response to market demand.

Open Polytechnic also adopted internationally proven models for distance learning course design, student support and quality control.

Open Polytechnic is now further expanding its range of online courses and services.

Instructional System

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School of Studies/Faculties

Teaching is carried out by eight specialist Schools integrated within a single Faculty: School of Business; School of Commerce and Enterprise; School of Education Studies; School of Engineering, Trades and Construction; School of Environment and Primary Industries; School of Health and Community; School of Information Science and Technology; School of Social Sciences.

Learning Support Network

Support for learners is provided online, by email and free phone by Open Polytechnic lecturers and tutors; specialist learning support advisors; and through our Library service and Online Campus.

Academic Programmes

Open Polytechnnic offers acadmemic programmes in business; education; social work; psychology and health; agriculture and horticulture; library and information studies; art and design; communication; construction, trades and engineering; environment; humanities and social sciences; IT and computing; law and legal; mathematics; personal and professional development; pharmacy; real estate; quality assurance; work and study skills. To see the full range of qualifications available go to Open Polytechnic's [subjects and courses page on the website][1].

Enrolment and Success

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Administration and Governance

The Open Polytechnic is administered by our Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig, supported by the senior management team. For more information on Dr Seelig and the Executive Directors at Open Polytechnic go to The Open Polytechnic is governed by its Council which is chaired by Graeme Hall. To find out more about Open Polytechnic Council members visit


Research is an integral and vital part of the teaching and learning provided by Open Polytechnic. In general, our research is applied and underpins our degree programmes. We have a focus on investigating open and distance learning paradigms and are involved in joint research projects with other polytechnics, universities, industry and professional organisations.

Academic staff in the eight schools conduct most of the research, although the Learning Support Centre and library staff also participate in research. Open Polytechnic provides internal funding for appropriate proposals and also regularly apply for external funding support. We have been awarded a number of grants. To access further information about research activity at Open Polytechnic visit

International Reach

Open Polytechnic enrols international students from over 40 countries around the world. The institution also works in a consultancy capacity with the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada and the National Institute of Open Schooling in India.

Acheivements and Highlights


- Launched new qualifications in Primary Science Teaching and Quality Assurance; Increased student success and improved overall educational performance results; Won the 2011 award for Excellence in Professional Services in the Westpace Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards; Became one of 13 found members of the international Open Educational Resource University.


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