India entertains polytechnic music and food courses

By Christine Linnell
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Tai Poutini Polytechnic is looking to India and Sri Lanka for new opportunities to attract international students and expand its programmes abroad.
Chief executive Allan Sargison visited the two countries for three weeks recently to speak with tertiary institutions interested in the programmes offered by the Greymouth-based polytechnic.
One result of the visit was an opportunity to run a pilot project to offer Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) short courses in India as a joint venture with an interested university.
“There are no fulltime music or audio programmes in south India or Sri Lanka, even though there is a huge music industry in India and a thriving club scene in Colombo,” Mr Sargison said in his October report to the polytechnic council.
Students doing the food production degree at SRM University in Chennai expressed interest in the Greymouth culinary arts programmes.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic is discussing offering a two-year level five programme next year so students can get a visa to come to the West Coast.
A New Zealand specialist agent from Chennai was visiting the Greymouth campus this week to discuss the opportunity.
Another agent was particularly interested in the polytechnic’s ecotourism courses as a pathway for geography graduates.
Mr Sargison said there would be more interest in the School of Mines once it had higher level qualifications in place, as mining was a large industry in south India.
He is working on offering some higher-level programmes and getting new degree pathways in place to maximise the potential for increasing Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s international student numbers.
“Overall, this was a good trip for beginning to build the brand of Tai Poutini Polytechnic in India and Sri Lanka,” he said. “Agents were interested in the ‘uniqueness’ of a number of our programmes.”