CHRISTCHURCH POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE of Technology (CPIT) and the Aoraki Polytechnic have recently merged to create a larger tertiary institution to provide Canterbury-wide access to a high quality vocational and technical education.
The merger is envisioned to respond to Canterbury’s exceptional expansion as the Christchurch earthquake rebuild matures, and sustained growth in primary production continues to underpin demographic and economic growth.
Dubbed CPIT Aoraki, the new organisation will work towards supporting the need for continued diversification, particularly in the health, ICT, tourism, and sustainability areas.
Operational for academic year 2016, the CPIT Aoraki’s South Canterbury campuses started the year after an extensive ICT upgrade, including all client devices and connectivity.
“The upgrade ensures better connectivity within the organisation and will assist in course delivery and management,” says CPIT Aoraki ICT director Mark Marshall.
“All ex-Aoraki Polytechnic campuses have received new computers and now have access to a far more extensive catalogue of specialist software to support learning delivery in both historical and new courses.”
Increased Internet access and network speeds come with the upgrade. Wi-Fi has been improved at all campuses, while the Oamaru campus has received this for the first time. This is supported by the replacement of the Aoraki switch network with 40 Cisco distribution switches configured as part of the existing CPIT managed network, and the connection of all southern campuses directly to the Christchurch data centre.
This investment will continue through 2016 with the development of technology enabled learning spaces with the merged ICT function enjoying a budget increase for 2016 to support these activities.
Its innovative technology projects for the year – a 10 per cent increase from 2015 – include cloud-based productivity suite (Office 365) and enhanced distance and blended learning capability.
With the merger, Marshall expects meeting the changing needs of the business, speed of deployment, and blending the two organisations into one highly effective team, to be challenges the 45-person ICT division will face.