Open Polytechnic, NZ’s national distance learning provider, has announced it isn't increasing tuition costs and it is making significant investments into technology.
Murray Bain, Open Polytechnic council chair, says the education provider is making investments into digital transformation to enhance the student experience and expand the services it offers to other organisations.
In July, Open Polytechnic launched its new iQualify online learning platform, and is currently transitioning its courses onto the new system.
iQualify is also being sold to other organisations as a commercial product, along with content and learning design services.
“The Open Polytechnic has been focused on removing barriers to higher education and delivering a motivating distance learning experience throughout its almost 70 year history,” says Dr Caroline Seelig, Open Polytechnic chief executive.
Furthermore, Bain says Open Polytechnic will hold its 2016 tuition fees at this year’s level.
He says this decision reflects the education provider’s commitment to making high quality flexible learning as accessible as possible for New Zealanders.
“We deliver world-class distance learning with tuition fees below the tertiary sector average and our goal is to continually strengthen that position for the benefit of our learners and partners.
“The tertiary sector is under funding pressure but the CPI has only increased by 0.4% in the year to June 2015, and Open Polytechnic’s overall financial performance means we can hold fees for our learners,” he says.
Seelig says, “Holding fee increases for fee-paying students in 2016 is another example of our commitment to helping lower financial barriers to study for our mainly adult learners.”
Open Polytechnic also offers fee-free courses in a number of subjects.
“In 2016 these courses will have the institution’s administration fee added to recoup processing costs for student enrolments in these courses," Seelig says.
The Open Polytechnic currently enrols over 31,000 students throughout New Zealand.