Fri 25 May 2018

WITT's course completions exceed targets

WITT’s success in improving student outcomes was a highlight of 2017, Chief Executive Barbara George says.

“We set out to improve our EPIs and I am delighted to say we did that.”

The Institute’s annual report shows course completion rates rose from successive 72% scores in 2015 and 2016 to 80% last year.  For Maori, the percentage was up to 73%.

Student satisfaction at WITT was also high at 97.71 percent. The year also saw WITT accredited to run 26 new courses.

In a joint introduction to the just-released annual report, Barbara George and WITT chair Robin Brockie noted a programme of work was agreed with NZQA and NZQA feedback confirmed the Institute was making improvements.

A land and buildings revaluation contributed to an overall annual surplus for the Institute, but a drop in demand for courses felt across the sector in the second half of the year, contributed to an operating deficit of $3.16 million.

Barbara George said student enrolments in the early part of 2018 were similar to those in the early part of 2017 and steps were being taken to ensure enrolments would not fall off as they did last year.

“Staff have focused on clearly identifying the types of courses that students enrolling in the second half of the year are attracted to and ensuring that our marketing is focused on these.”

WITT would also offer courses that begin in October and run over the summer.

In 2017 WITT enrolled 4515 students, (1363 full-time equivalent students) and graduated 933.

After four months of the current financial year, WITT is performing at a similar level to the early part of 2017.

Barbara George believed the development of the Taranaki Regional Economic Strategy, Tapuae Roa, would provide further opportunities for WITT to continue to meet the needs of the region.

She said 2017 had been a year of challenges which the Institute had risen to, and 2018 would continue to bring its own challenges.

A major area of work for 2018 would also be continuing a process of blending WITT’s teaching and learning with online accessibility through an alliance with The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

Read the report here