Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic will extend its online delivery of academic programmes for all of next week, following the Government’s latest Covid-19 Alert Level 4 directive.

“To give our staff and learners certainty about our learning and teaching in the coming week, we have made the decision that all programmes will continue with online learning from Monday 23 August until Friday 27 August,” says Dr Megan Gibbons, Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic.

“This also means that all staff will continue to work from home until Friday 27 August. 

“These measures will give us time to make better informed decisions about how Otago Polytechnic will operate as we move to Alert Level 3 restrictions, whenever that may be.

“The health and safety of our learners and staff remains our top priority,” Dr Gibbons says. “We need to ensure that all learners and staff are well supported through the change in alert levels when the time comes.”

Otago Polytechnic’s academic programmes are being delivered online across our three campuses – Dunedin, Central Otago and Auckland.

“Our academic staff are well prepared for this scenario and have been working hard on a comprehensive suite of resources to deliver online/remotely,” Dr Gibbons says.

“We have been communicating with our learners every day to ensure they are supported and understand how their learning will be delivered through this Covid-19 outbreak. 

“Students who are experiencing any form of hardship can apply for financial assistance from the Student Hardship Fund.

“We acknowledge this is a stressful and uncertain time for everybody. We have been proactive in communicating a range of support processes available to students and staff,” Dr Gibbons says.

Otago Polytechnic’s pastoral care and student support services include emergency contacts, online counselling, online IT support, learning support and financial assistance.

Otago Polytechnic’s support functions will continue to operate to ensure continuity of core business, with support services having moved to a work-from-home model earlier this week.

Te Pā Tauira-Otago Polytechnic Student Village, as well as our Central Campus accommodation, remains open for residents who have decided to stay.

“They are being well cared for and spirits seem good,” Dr Gibbons says.

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our highest priority, and staff are fully trained in Covid-19 safe practices.”

Te Pā Tauira, operated by Campus Living Villages, has adopted a range of stringent measures, compliant with the Government’s Covid-19 level guidelines, to ensure residents’ wellbeing.

These include increased intensive cleaning and sanitizing, complete restrictions of visitors, regular wellbeing checks with all residents, both in-house and those who have temporarily left the village. 

“Additionally, we have appropriate PPE for our staff, and additional face masks available for residents, have organized special arrangements for catering (such as ensuring social distancing is adhered to). Additional security has also been implemented,” a CLV spokesperson says.

For more information about Otago Polytechnic and their COVID-19 updates visit: https://www.op.ac.nz/hub/student/coronavirus-information