Otago Polytechnic

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Otago Polytechnic
Te Kura Matatini ki Otago
OP shield 2009.gif
Established 1870 Dunedin School of Art, 1889 Dunedin Technical College, 1966
Academic staff
477.3 FTES 2008
Students 3,787 EFTS (2012)[1]
Location Dunedin, New Zealand
Affiliations Public Tertiary Education Institution
Website https://www.op.ac.nz

Otago Polytechnic is a public New Zealand tertiary education institute, centred in Dunedin with campuses in Cromwell and Auckland.

Otago Polytechnic provides career-focused education and training, offering a range of New Zealand accredited postgraduate qualifications, degrees, diplomas and certificates at levels 2-9. However Otago Polytechnic has accreditation to run programmes from levels 1-10.


Otago Polytechnic traces its ancestry back to the Dunedin Technical School, which was established in 1889 to provide evening classes for working people.[2] In 1909 it expanded to offer day classes for secondary school pupils. In 1914 the name was changed to the King Edward Technical College.[3]

In 1921 the college took over the Dunedin School of Art, which had been established in 1870.[4] The college expanded further by taking on the evening and day time education of apprentices, technicians and professionals. In 1966 the college was split into a secondary school (later renamed Logan Park High School) and Otago Polytechnic, which opened on 1 February 1966.[5]


Otago Polytechnic is spread over a large geographical area with campuses in Dunedin and Central Otago, as well as a campus for international students in Auckland. The Polytechnic also carries out distance-based learning in areas ranging from Veterinary Nursing to Midwifery.

Dunedin Campuses[edit]

The Otago Polytechnic logo over the main entrance to F Block on Forth Street Campus
F Block of the Forth Street Campus

The Dunedin Campus is situated on Forth Street, Union Street, Riego Street and Anzac Avenue in Dunedin North.

The Forth Street campus buildings are situated between University of Otago campus and the Forsyth Barr Stadium, close to the edge of Logan Park. The Schools of Architecture, Building and Engineering and Natural Sciences are located on the old Rehabilitation League site on Anzac Avenue, and the prestigious Dunedin School of Art is located on Riego Street. Otago Polytechnic's library is the Robertson Library on Union Street, which it shares with the University of Otago College of Education.

In 2009, Otago Polytechnic vacated buildings in Tennyson Street, close to Stuart Street in the central city. These buildings had previously housed the School of Hospitality, Languages and Fashion, and are owned by the Ministry of Education.[6]

Technique training restaurant is located on Harbour Terrace and is an initiative established by Otago Polytechnic's School of Hospitality, training future chefs, hotel managers and restaurant staff under the guidance of industry professionals. The restaurant uses produce from local suppliers and Otago Polytechnic's Living Campus gardens. The restaurant offers lunchtime and evening dining to members of the public and hosts a wide range of themed events throughout the year, including midwinter Christmas dining.

There is also a Community Learning Centre in Mosgiel which delivers free and inexpensive computer training to the public, as well as holding short computing courses.

Central Otago Campus[edit]

In Central Otago the main Otago Polytechnic campus is in Cromwell on the corner of Molyneux Ave and Erris St. Programmes on offer include long and short courses in Cookery, Business, and Horticulture. Qualifications in Ski and Snowbaord Instruction and Avalanche Safety are delivered from Cardrona Alpine Resort and Mount Aspiring College. Otago Polytechnic's Central campus launched a qualification in high country farming in 2014, which is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. There are two "Community Learning Centres" which hold computing courses as well as being able to provide career guidance and study assistance for Otago Polytechnic students - these are on the Central Otago Campus and in Queenstown. In 2009, the two Community Learning Centres in Wanaka and Alexandra were closed.

Auckland International Campus[edit]

The Auckland International Campus caters to international students and offers professional qualifications in Business and Management as well as National Diplomas in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying. Classes are taught in English. The Auckland International Campus is located on Queen Street in downtown Auckland. Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with about 1.6 million people. It is New Zealand's biggest centre of business and industry and is popularly known as the ‘City of Sails’ because the harbour is often dotted with hundreds of yachts. Auckland has been rated the third best city in the world, and the best city in Asia and the Pacific for quality of life[7]

International Students[edit]

Otago Polytechnic offers education and training to both New Zealand and international students. In 2014, Otago Polytechnic had 503 equivalent full-time international students made up from 41 different countries.

Staff at Otago Polytechnic[edit]

Otago Polytechnic has a workforce totalling 507 permanent staff as at the end of 2014. The turnover rate among Otago Polytechnic permanent staff was eight per cent in 2014, which is less than the corresponding national education sector of 13 per cent. All Otago Polytechnic staff are required to undergo up to date training on New Zealand's Treaty of Waitangi.

Student Services[edit]

Otago Polytechnic offers student services both itself in conjunction with University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic Students' Association. These include internal services such a Childcare Centre, Student Learning Center, Disabilities Services, and Student IT Services. In conjunction with Otago University, Polytechnic students have access to UNIPOL Recreation Centre and the Robertson Library.

All enrolled Otago Polytechnic students may consider themselves members of the Otago Polytechnic Students' Association, an independent organisation run by the students and offers support, social events and clubs, access to facilities and services, and the free student magazine, Gyro.

Students' association[edit]

Otago Polytechnic Students' Association (OPSA) is the independent student association at Otago Polytechnic which provides access to many facilities and services[8] like the student ID card, Clubs & Societies centre, a second-hand bookshop, UNIPOL Sports Centre,[9] a free student newspaper (Gyro), free pool tables, free campus telephones, the Student Discount Directory, social events, and Student Job Search.

OPSA also provides support services like advocacy, campaigns, representation, financial assistance[10] and advice.[8][11] OPSA is often involved with local authorities representing a student view, especially in transportation and housing issues.[12]

OPSA also advocates everyone's right to tertiary education, and that user-pays education creates a significant barrier to this right. OPSA seeks a return to free tertiary education as it was before 1989[13]

In 2008 and 2009 OPSA took the unusual move of expelling its members involved in illegal violence at the Undie 500.[14] In 2009 OPSA campaigned against the government's removal of student representation from polytechnic councils.[15][16]


  1. ^ http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/tertiary_education/participation
  2. ^ Dougherty, Ian (1999). Bricklayers and Mortarboards: A History of New Zealand Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press. 
  3. ^ Dungey, Kim (20 Aug 2011). "Old school buzzes with new life". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Dougherty, Ian (2006). Continuing Education of Quality: A History of Otago Polytechnic and its Predecessors 1870-2006. Dunedin: Otago Polytechnic. 
  5. ^ "Organisation of Colleges". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  6. ^ Rudd, Allison (20 February 2009). "Polytechnic extends hospitality for students". Otago Daily Times. 
  7. ^ Tarn-Weir, Bronte. "NZ remains attractive for global workforce - Auckland third best in latest Quality of Living ranking". Mercer. Mercer NZ. 
  8. ^ a b http://www.studenthub.co.nz/Otago/Other.aspx
  9. ^ Rudd, Allison (26 September 2009). "Unipol stake under review". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Rudd, Allison (26 June 2010). "Hand-to-mouth existence harsh fact of student life". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  11. ^ http://www.otagopolytechnic.ac.nz/students/student-portal/students-association.html
  12. ^ http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/minutes_agenda/0011/72479/ma_r_fsc_tertiaryupdate---2009_06_22.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.opsa.org.nz/campaigns.php
  14. ^ "Students face expulsion over rogue Undie 500 disorder". Stuff.co.nz. NZPA. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Rudd, Allison (24 November 2009). "Chance of no representation stuns staff and students". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  16. ^ http://www.ch9.co.nz/content/bill-angers-otago-polytechnic-students-association

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°51′57″S 170°31′07″E / 45.865927°S 170.518522°E / -45.865927; 170.518522