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East Coast Polytechnic Explores Education Opportunities with EIT

June 28, 2010

Tairāwhiti Polytechnic has singled out EIT Hawke’s Bay to be its preferred partner as it looks at ways of enhancing the provision of tertiary education on the East Coast.

Facing funding cuts that threaten its future viability, Tairāwhiti Polytechnic’s Council recently approached four tertiary education institutions to assess ways in which one might work with the Gisborne-based educator.
Chairman Geoff Milner said the “very robust, high quality education providers” were UCOL, Wintec, Te Wananga o Aotearoa and EIT.

Following exploratory talks, Tairāwhiti Polytechnic decided on EIT.

Making the choice was very difficult, Mr Milner said, with each organisation demonstrating different ways in which it could add value to education provision in the East Coast region.

“In the end we were most impressed with one provider who was able to demonstrate a real understanding of the needs of our region and the willingness to work closely with us on examining a future that would benefit both organisations.”

Tairāwhiti Polytechnic and EIT will now work on developing a business case for future collaboration.

Mr Milner said EIT was in a sound financial position, having achieved consistent surpluses for well over a decade.  It had a reputation for delivering high quality programmes, ten of them at degree-level.

“EIT has already worked closely with Tairāwhiti Polytechnic over the past two years, helping in improving its administrative systems.”

EIT Chairman David Pearson said working with Tairāwhiti Polytechnic was an opportunity to explore a partnership model that enhanced both organisations.

“We don’t yet have a clear view on where this will take us, but we are certainly keen to share ideas and work towards a business case.  Stakeholders will be fully consulted before making any final decisions.”

Mr Milner said Tairāwhiti Polytechnic had modelled its future financial position based on funding cuts amounting to millions of dollars. 

Because these threatened the organisation’s viability, the Council had taken the proactive step of looking for a preferred partner organisation “to explore ways in which we might collaborate in order to save money and actually improve service.”

Note:  EIT has 3000 equivalent full-time students; Tairāwhiti Polytehnic has 1200 EFTS.