Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Polytech's new name for 'bigger audience'

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Anthony Robertson.
Anthony Robertson.

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic has been renamed Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in hopes of better recognition on an international scale.

This was one of the points stressed to students in Tauranga this week at a Bay of Plenty Polytechnic stakeholder meeting at the Bongard campus of the institution - the final of four meetings held around the Bay of Plenty in the lead up to the official establishment, merging Waiariki Institute of Technology and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, on May 1.

About 40 Bay of Plenty Polytechnic students voiced their concerns to a small panel representing the school about whether the changes would affect their StudyLink, the qualifications they would receive and why they had no input into the new name.

On May 1, the education provider would cease to exist as Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and become Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

The new name was established to appeal to a bigger international audience, said Anthony Robertson, director of corporate services.

"Polytech has a slightly different meaning overseas so institute of technology would be better on an international market."

One student queried whether the new name would hold the same prestige as its predecessor.

Academic director Dr Amanda Torr said the new name came with quality assurance.

"NZQA is the quality assuring body, every programme that we offer is approved and accredited by NZQA. All the approvals and accreditation have been transferred to Toi Ohomai."

However, the overall rating could drop from category one to category two until a NZQA assessment was done on the new institute, she said.

Dr Torr also assured students there should be no issues with those on StudyLink and those who graduated from the end of this current semester would in fact qualify with Toi Ohomai as the name of the institution of where they studied.

"What the name means for students? Nothing. Nothing except the name changes. They will continue to do their course. When students come back for semester two, they will have the same teachers and same classes."

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic student Sharn Ferry, 26, liked the new name but did not think it was actually needed.

The name: Toi Ohomai

Toi - Aspiring to and achieving great heights

Ohomai - To be awakened and inspired through our learning, to positively transform our world and to remember where we come from.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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