South Canterbury adopts business degree

News News & events

18 Jul 2016

The Bachelor of Applied Management, being offered for the first time at Ara Institute of Canterbury's southern campuses, will bring new expertise and opportunities to the Canterbury regional business community says Business Lecturer Dr Frina Albertyn.

"We have a great deal of experience and expertise in South Canterbury, but until now we have not been able to offer a degree level qualification," she said.

"This is particularly exciting for those who have family or work locally and can't easily pick up and move location to study. They can now continue on to earn their Bachelor of Applied Management without leaving home." 

Dr Frina Albertyn is looking forward to bringing the Bachelor of Applied Management to South Canterbury.

Timaru Campus previously offered a one year Diploma in Applied Business level 5 and the two year New Zealand Diploma in Business level 6. These qualifications will now staircase to the Bachelor of Applied Management with majors across a range of specialisations including Accounting, Business Information Systems, Event Management, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Hospitality, Personal Finance and Retail.

Ara is exploring the skills training needs of the South Canterbury community to support regional economic growth and community aspirations. The popularity of the diploma level business programmes indicated a need for higher level qualifications. 

Frina said with five highly qualified staff across the Timaru, Ashburton and Oamaru campuses, the Business Department has the ability to create individual study plans using a blended learning approach of online and face to face learning, evening classes and blocks of intensive study to cater to different needs of learners.

Professionals who want to have their experience recognised as academic credits towards a formal qualification can be assessed through the Centre of Assessment of Prior Learning at Ara.

The effort will pay off, Frina said. "In the business world the bar has been raised. Employers expect industry-relevant qualifications and in some sectors such as accounting you need that qualification to register in your field. Employees need to be aware of the latest developments, because in every sector things are always changing."

The new qualification might also bring people to the region to enjoy the unique South Canterbury lifestyle while they study.

Frina can certainly relate to that. She and her husband recently bought a lifestyle block in Fairlie and is enjoying a daily commute surrounded by mountains and fields. It's a long way from her native South Africa but after 17 years over here Frina definitely calls New Zealand home.

Frina is looking forward to teaching at a degree level again and is certainly well qualified. With a Bachelor of Science in computing and mathematics, a teaching diploma, a Master's degree in computer science and PhD in information technology Frina was former Head of Business at Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier.

The new organisation, Ara, has brought stability to the vocational training offerings in South Canterbury Frina said, as well as new opportunities. "It has been a challenging few years, but now we can really build on our strengths and what we can offer to our communities."