Canterbury’s new vocational training organisation announced

News News & events

30 Mar 2016

Students from Ara Institute of Canterbury 

Ara Institute of Canterbury currently has 5,574 (equivalent fulltime) students enrolled and is looking to provide vocational tertiary training to more learners in Canterbury and beyond in the future.

Ara Institute of Canterbury was announced today (30 March) as Canterbury's new vocational educational provider in dawn services at campuses in Christchurch and Timaru.

CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic have set out an ambitious vision for Ara Institute of Canterbury to be an exciting, relevant, contemporary, vibrant and viable contributor to individual and community prosperity throughout Canterbury and Waitaki by improving access, extending the range of programmes and services and by becoming a destination for national and international students.

Ara, meaning arise or pathway in te Reo Māori, is the ambitious next stage in the history of CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic after the two institutes received ministerial approval to formally join together this year to provide more flexible and innovative vocational training to the region.

Both have been delivering relevant vocational training to Canterbury and Waitaki for over 100 years. The new organisation will build on these reputations and expand programme offerings to support key regional sectors and attract international students.

"Our intention is to continue working with industry partners and our communities to adapt to the needs of the region and of modern learners," Ara Institute of Canterbury Chair Jenn Bestwick said. "Both CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic can be very proud of what they have achieved and the thousands of graduates who are contributing to their industries locally and overseas. But the world is changing and together we can achieve even more; our new name signals we have stepped into an exciting new future together."

Underpinning the new institute's name is the Māori phrase Ara rau, taumata rau, meaning many pathways, many opportunities, which embodies the essence of Ara. This phrase reflects an approach that will accommodate and nurture all types of learners to follow the best pathway to reach their goals.

"We have already introduced some new opportunities into South Canterbury and we are looking at ways to reach out to our regional learners through flexible, online and workplace delivery," Ara Institute of Canterbury Deputy Chair, and former Aoraki Polytechnic Chair, Janie Annear said. "Business, science, ICT and youth pathway programmes have been extended to south Canterbury this year, and we have introduced Māori and Pasifika Trades Training in Timaru as well. The new organisation has opened exciting possibilities for vocational training in Canterbury and Waitaki."

Across Canterbury and Waitaki, Ara offers access to industry relevant foundational certificates, diplomas, degrees and post graduate diplomas with strategies developed specifically to engage and support youth, Māori and Pasifika, professionals who need to upskill and international students.

The bold Ara logo represents the upward journey of learning, while also drawing inspiration from Māori tukutuku panelling, which was traditionally used to decorate meeting houses.

"We have already made changes in terms of aligning our systems and expanding our programme delivery. We've worked with the government, industry partners, iwi and our communities to create something special for Canterbury and Waitaki to take us into the future and to fully develop the potential of our people and our communities," Ms Bestwick said.

To celebrate the launch, there will be an official dawn ceremony as well as lunchtime concerts and refreshments at the City Campus, Madras St, Christchurch and Timaru Campus, Arthur St, Timaru, for staff and students.

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