The West Coast of the South Island is expecting an influx of students and an injection into the West Coast economy following a decision by Tai Poutini Polytechnics Council to continue it’s ‘No Tuition Fees’ Policy in 2009.
Full time students at Tai Poutini’s Greymouth, Reefton, Westport and Hokitika campuses will be eligible for the scheme which last year injected approximately $8 million into the West Coast economy.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic offers a broad range of programmes including outdoor recreation, jade carving, chef, tourism, nanny, civil construction and business. All of these programmes have a strong link to the unique West Coast region where they are based.
As well as West Coast programmes, Tai Poutini Polytechnic also offer options in Auckland, Christchurch and Wanaka, and has now has a solid base of some 2270 equivalent full time students.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic chief executive Paul Wilson says the council’s decision will not just benefit students, but the entire West Coast community, including employers.
“This decision will have a significant flow on effect for West Coast employers who at the time of graduation will be able to tap into a significant skills resource following graduation.”
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chair of Council, Mr Allan Beaumont says the renewal of the No Tuition Fees funding is consistent with its commitment to prepare students for their chosen career at a specialised level.
“This decision is in line with our vision, values and outstanding reputation of working alongside our community and stakeholders to ensure the region’s skill base is maintained.”
“Tai Poutini Polytechnic continues to strive to ensure that we work within the Government’s tertiary guidelines to provide access to quality education of all our students on the West Coast,” says Beaumont.
Wilson says, “The renewal of the No Tuition Fees policy will provide certainty for those considering enrolling for next year as well as existing students at Tai Poutini Polytechnic who might want to continue their education to a higher level.”
“This is a commitment first and foremost to students and securing access to high quality tertiary education that is relevant to, and meets the needs of, the West Coast community.”
Students are only required to pay an allowance in the event of materials charges, the increase in which for 2009 are capped at no more than 10% or $300 - whichever is the smaller - across any individual programme.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s aim is to ensure its courses and programmes provide real linkages to employment or future training at higher levels as well as filling skill shortages on a regional and national level.