Seamless Segues from Polytechnic to University: A New Zealand Case Study of a Dual Provider Partnership

  • Peter Richardson
  • Cath Fraser
  • David Lyon


The higher education sector in New Zealand traverses quite an array of provision and provider models. They encompass universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), private training establishments (PTEs), and wānanga (a publicly owned tertiary institution that provides education in a Māori cultural context). There are also multiple provider agreements based on which introductory courses and entry level qualifications from one institute receive credits through recognition of prior learning, and ensure enrolment, or contribute to higher level qualifications awarded by another.

This chapter describes 20 years of experience in a pathway program offering management and computing degrees in a range of specialisations, with students commencing study at an ITP and progressing to university through a guaranteed credit arrangement - a unique model within the New Zealand tertiary education system. Integrated teaching teams, campus, library, online platforms, marketing and calendar planning mean that there is a strong element of “social exchange” (Haar and Brougham 2012). This chapter discusses the challenges and strategies associated with delivering these pathway programs, against a backdrop of formal agreements between dissimilar tertiary organisations, close industry and local business engagement, meeting national Tertiary Education Commission priorities, a focus on quality, and ongoing review and evaluation of the practice. Practitioner research offers evidence of the value students see in the arrangements that have been forged as well as in the transfer into the workplace of content and skills developed during study.


Progression and transition Vocational and academic pathways Polytechnic and university collaboration 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toi Ohomai Institute of TechnologyTaurangaNew Zealand
  2. 2.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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