The Council of Whitireia Community Polytechnic and the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) welcomed the capital injection from the Crown for Whitireia Community Polytechnic announced by the Minister of Education in August. This decision demonstrates the Government’s commitment to polytechnic training for the Wellington region. The financial support was sought by the Council as part of an ongoing plan to ensure the financial sustainability of Whitireia Community Polytechnic.
In 2018 Whitireia has achieved 102% of its TEC funding for its core delivery (i.e. level 3 and above) which demonstrates that the programmes delivered by Whitireia are meeting demand from the Wellington region for high quality and relevant qualifications. The growth in domestic student numbers reverses a trend experienced by Whitireia and many other ITPs over recent years.
This success is further validated by the outstanding educational achievement by Whitireia which is the top ranked ITP in the country for student course and qualification completions based on 2017 data (source TEC).
In order to ensure students can achieve well in terms of course and qualification completions the Council has approved investment in our campuses over several years. This has included investment into quality facilities for the delivery of creative and performing arts programmes which overall are tracking 12% ahead of 2017 enrolments (Equivalent Fulltime Students) and 16% ahead for core delivery at level 3 and above compared to last year.
The Council stands behind its decisions to invest in modern teaching and learning environments for students. All these investment decisions have been based on sound and professional judgments based on the best information available at the time, including independent expert financial advice.
The Council has shifted classrooms from leaky, cold prefabs to modern teaching facilities, without any capital support from government. The Council believes that it has done the right thing for the community and for education. The capital injection is modest compared to what Council has been able to invest in its communities over many years.
The current operating performance challenges of Whitireia reflect a decline in enrolments (especially international enrolments) which the Council has been actively addressing through a substantial organisational change process.
The increase in student numbers reflects that these decisions have meant that Whitireia can remain competitive providing a top quality learning experience for students. Over the years Whitireia has met this cost itself aside from a small capital grant over 30 years ago. Whitireia students have new health facilities, a quality library and refreshed engineering and construction facilities on the main Porirua campus. These are all achievements the Council is proud of. Improving facilities is all part of the normal running of an organisation and reflects the Council’s focus on providing learners, regardless of their socio-economic background and programmes they wish to study, with optimal learning environments.
Since receiving preliminary advice from the Minister of his intention to dissolve the Council and appoint a Commissioner the Council has responded to the Minister noting that it will continue in its governance role until the Commissioner is established.