Fees-free scheme boosts numbers

NorthTec offers courses and multiple campuses as well as online.

Northtec campuses will host an open day on September 10 for students planning to enrol for the first semester of 2022.

The polytechnic is offering 38 courses that can be done free of charge, thanks to the Government’s fees-free scheme.

Spokeswoman Lyn Cheyne says nursing and social services are the two most popular degrees at NorthTec.

She says this is due to the institute’s ability to provide work placements for students with Northland District Health Board medical providers.

Engineering and construction trade courses are also popular, with fees-free options including carpentry, building, quantity surveying and electrical engineering.

Lyn says NorthTec apprentices are currently working on the Whangarei District Council civic centre and several road projects.

Students can also do an on-the-job course in forestry harvesting operations.

Last month, an industry benchmark survey found that 92 per cent of regional employers had positive perceptions of the skills, knowledge and work readiness of NorthTec students. More than 300 employers were surveyed.

Lyn says NorthTec is popular among young northern students who want to move away from their hometown, but live close enough to visit family easily at the weekends.

She says living expenses are also more affordable compared to studying in Auckland.

Courses are offered in Whangarei, Dargaville, Kerikeri, Kaitaia and Kaikohe. There is also an  apiarist course in Kaiwaka. NorthTec also caters to a significant number of retraining adult students. Over 60 per cent of its students are over 25.

The second semester for 2021 starts on July 26.

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