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Ara Institute of Canterbury


Ara Institute of Canterbury is one of New Zealand's largest tertiary institutions educating about 30,000 students per annum and is located in Christchurch, Ashburton, Oamaru and Timaru.

Over 100 years ago recognition was given to the fact that New Zealanders needed more than the theory of academia, they also needed the practicality of technical training and education. From this era came the revised Manual and Technical Institution Act of 1900, providing fertile opportunity to firmly plant the roots of the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

The first classes in 1906 at the then named Christchurch Technical College were offered in mensuration, algebra, geometry and arithmetic. Very early trade training included fitting and turning apprentices, followed by certification licensing of the plumbers and electrical wiremen.

By the 1960s, the College moved to distinguish itself from the high school sector in favour of being seen as a tertiary institute, and CTC became Christchurch Technical Institute. Within that decade of change CTI also split its activities to concentrate wholly on post secondary education for night and day classes.

In line with its ever changing role, the early 1980s saw another name change to better encapture the essence of the course range offered. Thus CTI became Christchurch Polytechnic.

The drive and commitment of some real visionaries over the last century has seen Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology become what it is today - the largest polytechnic in the South Island and the fourth largest of 23 in New Zealand. The first graduation ceremony of the millennium saw over 1000 degrees, diplomas and certificates conferred.

CPIT offers many qualifications that are registered on the National Qualification Framework. They provide up to the minute training in state of the art facilities. The programmes are designed to ensure that students move seamlessly from study to the workplace through:
•    Internships
•    Work experience
•    Practical hands-on training

CPIT emphasises 'applied' learning, where theoretical education is combined with a hands-on approach. The success of the 'applied learning' approach is borne out by the number of employers who prefer CPIT-trained employees. The programmes at CPIT are designed to lead you from your education to employment in the industry of your career choice, providing staircasing from foundation programmes to degree and graduate qualifications. Many of the programmes at CPIT can be studied part-time, during the day, evening and at the weekend, to work in with your work or life commitments.

As well as a gym, bookshop, cafeteria, health centre and car-parking, CPIT has all the services and facilities you would expect at a major tertiary institution.