The Eastern Institute of Technology has plenty to celebrate at Friday’s graduation ceremony (23 March) at which a record number of diploma, degree and post graduate qualifications will be conferred.
Over the last three years, the institute has recorded a steady increase in both overall qualifications awarded and higher level qualifications.
In 2011, EIT Hawke’s Bay awarded 1899 qualifications to those completing study programmes. That was 354 more than for the previous year – a 23 percent increase, and well up on the 1419 qualifications awarded in 2009.
The overall figure for last year includes an additional 34 degree and post graduate qualifications.
The increased number of qualifications awarded – encompassing certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate programmes – was across all EIT faculties.
Significantly more students completed their Bachelor of Arts (Māori) degrees (a 380 percent increase on the previous year) and postgraduate qualifications in health and sport science (a 23 percent increase).
In another indicator of performance, the course completion rate improved from 76 percent in 2010 to 78 percent last year.
And in another significant trend for the institute, EIT students are getting younger. In 2011, 54 percent of all Hawke’s Bay equivalent full-time students were aged under 25 – up from 52 percent in 2010 and about 49 percent in 2009.
The sessions that comprise the graduation ceremony will be held at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings. A formal occasion, graduation follows the awarding of certificates in faculty ceremonies held in December last year.
Because of the number of qualifications being awarded graduation will be staged in two sessions.
The morning session, starting at 10.30am, is for graduates in Applied Science, Business and Computing, Arts, Humanities and Trades. In the afternoon, beginning at 3pm, Māori Studies and Health Sciences graduands are to be capped.
Two valedictorians – Fiona Fox, graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, and Natasha Hau, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Māori) – have been chosen to address their respective sessions.
The morning ‘s guest speaker will be Tamatea High School principal Nicola Ngarewa, a strong advocate of education who has worked in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors as well as New Zealand prisons.
Constantly inspired by today’s youth – “tomorrow’s leaders” – she also serves on the National Advisory Committee for the He Kakano Māori Achievement Programme.
An EIT graduate who has an influential role at Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc, Jeremy Tātere MacLeod will be guest speaker at the afternoon ceremony.
Born in Australia to Māori parents, Jeremy is employed by the local iwi authority to implement Ngāti Kahungunu’s revitalisation strategy for te reo Māori.
With no knowledge of the language, he launched into tertiary study with a certificate programme and progressed to a Bachelor of Arts Honours (Māori).
“I attained a high level of fluency in te reo Māori within my five years at EIT, receiving a high quality education which has enabled me to soar in the field of Māori language revitalisation – a life-long passion!”
EIT chief executive Chris Collins said the upcoming graduation was a highlight of the year for the institute and Hawke’s Bay, and that was followed by another, with Tairawhiti’s graduation held in Gisborne next month.
“It is enormously satisfying for graduands, families and also the staff, as they see their students come across the stage to be capped.
“There are so many good stories about real success, sometimes achieved in the face of significant challenges as people juggle the demands of work and families around their studies.”