Fri 9 Jun 2017

WITT Annual Report Released

WITT chief Barbara George and chair Robin Brockie, in a combined statement in the report, said it had been a year of significant change, the most notable being a deliberate change in its business model . They said the council and executive leadership focussed on improving sustainability indicators that would insure the institute “not only survived, but thrived’’.

The report acknowledged of a difficult financial period compounded by increased operating costs and high consultancy and legal fees.

Academically, WITT matched the performance of other polytech in delivering Level 4 courses and above, but was off the pace in completion rates and student retention figures for Level 1 to 3 courses.

The report covers the period when an EER review in September, and published in February, gave the institute a “Not Yet Confident” rating.

Tertiary education media observer Dave Guerin, in his assessment of the report, noted that “on the positive side, WITT’s plans for improving their efficiency and effectiveness are sensible and specific’’.

“They made considerable gains in the staff:student ratio and total teaching hours per staff member when compared to 2015. Their domestic EFTS [equivalent full time student] growth was the third highest amongst ITPs, [Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics] and new domestic funding will support further growth. If they can reduce costs and continue to increase EFTS, they can get back on the right path.’’

The report noted WITT had enrolled almost 5300 student during the year and saw its first graduates from its new Hawera campus.