Mō Mātou About us

Ara launch

Kia ora. Welcome to Ara

Ara Institute of Canterbury is a vibrant, progressive, government-funded tertiary institute providing world-class, tertiary-level education throughout the Canterbury and Waitaki region. Ara was created in 2016 when education providers CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic merged, bringing together two well-established organisations and over 200 years of collective experience and success.

Our talented staff, innovative business collaborators and supportive community partners are passionate about the role they play in our students' success. Together, we're committed to equipping every student with the industry-relevant knowledge, skills and experience they need to get the job they want and to excel in it.

Our learning models and course content continually evolve to respond to industry and regional needs. To ensure our students have real-world experience, we offer an ever-expanding array of workplace training opportunities, internships, apprenticeships and partnerships with industry. And to meet demand for flexible study options, we offer an increasing range of online, blended delivery and part time programmes.

These measures, combined with a low student-to-tutor ratio and comprehensive support services, ensure our students thrive in an inclusive, nurturing, flexible and technology-enhanced study environment where meaningful learning experiences are the norm.

And it means that when they head out into the world, our graduates are work-ready and equipped with internationally-relevant qualifications, valuable industry connections and skills that will enable them to contribute to a fast-changing world.

Our name and logo

Ara is the Māori word for path or journey. It represents the learning process, the many pathways to success, and the routes and rivers that criss-cross the Canterbury Plains from the mountains to the sea.

Underpinning the logo is the phrase 'Ara rau, taumata rau' which translates to 'many pathways, many opportunities'. This phrase captures the varied aspirations of our learners, and recognises that learning is a lifelong undertaking.All of these concepts are reflected in the logo, which illustrates the upward journey of learning and the summit of success. Drawing inspiration from Māori tukutuku panelling and the teeth of a Taniwha (which represent strength and determination), the triangles create many entry and exit points, and depict the many pathways available at Ara.

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