Resort College raises the bar on quality independent tertiary education
Resort College raises the bar on quality independent tertiary education
Excellent support systems for domestic and international students through all stages of their learning journey have won Queenstown Resort College the inaugural Supreme Award at this year’s tertiary sector awards.
The ITENZ Sector Awards are designed to showcase the achievements of the private tertiary education sector. They are led by Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ) with guidance this year from The Quality Commission.
Ako Aotearoa (New Zealand’s Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence) is proud to sponsor the new Supreme Award, which aims to celebrate and acknowledge outstanding contribution to advancing the best possible outcomes for learners.
Queenstown Resort College ensures all learners receive a solid foundation based on Te Ao Māori; an approach that goes beyond the classroom and wraps aroha and awhi around the students outside of classroom hours. The Te Tai Tokerau branch of the college – The Northland Youth Education Trust - breaks down barriers for students wanting to access education with a comprehensive wrap-around pastoral and academic support programme.
The College demonstrates an exceptionally high graduate employment rate of 93% (within three months of graduation) which sees graduates quickly progress into leadership and management roles within the tourism industry.
The Supreme Award is presented to one of the seven finalists in these annual Awards. Queenstown Resort College also collected two other awards tonight: Southern Cross Travel Insurance Leadership Award and Cengage Provider of the Year.
Christine Clark, Chair of ITENZ, comments “Our sector has an enormous amount to be proud of - innovation, dedication, compassion and quality – areas of excellence that are epitomised by each of these award winners. We congratulate them all.”
The other finalists include:
Cengage Domestic Student of the Year
Liz Beamsley from Training for You
Liz has recently completed the Certificate in Supporting Literacy and Numeracy, the first certificate of the Level 4 Diploma in Teacher Aiding, at Training for You in Whanganui. After she enrolled in the Women in Learning programme, Tangata Toa programme Liz developed a real hunger to learn and completed the UCOL National Certificate of Tertiary Studies Level 2 and she got straight A’s before enrolling in the Level 4 Diploma. Liz now volunteers on the Tangata Toa course at Training for You twice a week, helping other people to improve their literacy and numeracy skills, and more importantly their self-esteem. She also volunteers for the SPCA and has raised her own three children and has fostered 65 children, three of whom she has adopted.
To quote her tutor “She has just resigned from (her SPCA volunteer role) to keep working in the classroom supporting adults in the classroom who have low literacy, numeracy and self-esteem. All the students in the class love her no-nonsense attitude and her love of learning. She is an inspiration to us all’
ICEF International Student of the Year
Sindre Stoten from New Zealand College of Chiropractic
Sindre is a fourth-year student at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic from Norway. He has performed well in his studies and contributed widely to the Discipline of Chiropractic both in New Zealand and taken New Zealand knowledge and practice back to Norway. The leader of an international research organisation reported “his understanding of scientific knowledge transfer is outstanding in an undergraduate student”.
Sindre has been very active in extracurricular activities including as president of the Philosophy and Diversified Clubs, and as a member of the team that established the endurance initiative for students to increase student engagement as well as keeping fit. He mentored staff and students competing in the Run for Research running parts of the Hillary Trail and raising $6000 for research at the college. Sindre also fundraised and participated in the Cook Island Mission trip that provides Chiropractic care in the Cook Islands. He is also mentors and supports fellow students at the college and is a student ambassador touring North Island schools.
Support Person of the Year Award
Jan Colville from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic
Jan has been the Recruitment and Admission Manager at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic since 2013. She is affectionately known as Camp Mother. She is fully committed to the students at the College and goes above and beyond to assist them, whether it is taking them to the airport or helping them move flats. Nothing is too much for her.
She follows progress of students from enrolment before entering college right through their study period at the college. She manages the emergency phone but it never rings as she is “on to it long before a student needs to call”. Jan is attributed to be the key reason why the College has scored above the 90th percentile in igraduate survey in student satisfaction and support. She is a beacon of comfort for the parents of international students, posting on Facebook, calling them, and hosting them if they come to New Zealand.
Jan is a team player and regularly supports other departments. She is just as committed to her team and constantly looks for ways to show her appreciation for the work they do and encourages them to achieve high standards. Her manager says, “There are many things I love about Jan. Her loyalty to the College; her drive to ensure that everything she does is at 100%; and that you can give Jan any project, any problem and it is always done and she works at it until it is done and it is done well”.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance Leadership Award
Charlie Phillips from Queenstown Resort College
Charlie Phillips has been the Chief Executive Officer at Queenstown Resort College for the past 10 years.
Nominations were received from several strong leaders in the private sector, however Charlie Phillips stood out as an outstanding leader whose portfolio clearly demonstrated how he meets the criteria for this award.
Charlie has instilled a culture of excellence in staff and students alike, as clearly shown in the latest EER report. He is an advocate for professional development and has put in place an allocated fund for staff professional development. He himself attended Harvard Business School to complete a course in Business Strategy. His contribution to whole of sector development includes championing expansion into Northland, developing the new Level 7 Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management, recognising the need for safe, stable home environments for students and overseeing the purchase of additional Halls of Residence in Queenstown and Paihia, acquiring QRC Culinary in Kerikeri, and securing funding from MBIE for the Ambassador programme.
Charlie has a clear vision which has provided strong direction to QRC. He has built a highly capable and effective team, and created an organisational culture that encourages staff retention. He leads by example and says that “perfection has no finish line”. He welcomes feedback on his leadership and decision-making. He recognises others before himself – a true sign of a humble and caring leader.
Cengage Provider of the Year
Queenstown Resort College
Queenstown Resort College (QRC) is a Tourism & Hospitality Management College based in Queenstown, with satellite campuses in two Tai Tokerau tourist locations, Paihia and Kerikeri.
In a broad field of nominations that were varied with several strong contenders, QRC were the clear leaders.
QRC has a strong track record of ongoing improvement in student achievement. Their graduate employment rate is 93.33%, 50% of their graduates are promoted within the first 12 months, 30% go on to further study. They have a system of wrap-around pastoral support, including a Pastoral Care Manager, six Lodge Managers, out-of-hours study sessions, mentoring, cultural education and excursions.
They collaborate and engage with other organisations to improve outcomes for learners both in Queenstown and in Northland. QRC is strongly connected with multiple links to relevant organisations. Their students are immersed in industry and participate in internships, community work, and shift placements. The Alumni network keeps them engaged with 1000+ alumni, keeping them informed about job opportunities as well as relevant industry news and professional learning opportunities worldwide.
QRC has more than 20 industry partners in Queenstown and Northland. They established the Northland Education Trust. Their EER report shows that their programmes are highly relevant to the needs of industry and provide a pathway into senior management positions.
MYOB Award for Innovative Use of Technology
Dr Matthew Sherson from New Zealand College of Chiropractic
Dr Matthew Sherson is the Head of Technique and Project Manager at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic. He has been instrumental in introducing a digital system to the assessment at the college.
In 2016, the college moved from a paper based assessment system to the digital Bracken programme. The programme utilises both computer and tablet based (IPad) technology. The approach is unique in Chiropractic Colleges and a first of its kind in chiropractic education worldwide.
Students are required to complete over 40 assessments each semester whilst in the chiropractic centre. Until 2016 these were paper based and a significant amount of time was involved between the student and the supervisor with potential for subjectivity. The Bracken system has greatly improved the objectivity of assessment, allowing students to be assessed at their own pace and the ability for quick feedback. It has also enhanced congruency between classroom learning and the application of learning in the chiropractic centre.
Dr Sherson says that, “The Bracken program is a quantum shift in the way students are assessed in the chiropractic profession, really moving this process into the digital age.” A colleague comments that “Dr Sherson has led this project and applied it through the entire college over an extremely short timeline. He has helped create a simple universal interface that staff and students (with a vast range of technical knowledge) can all use competently. Finally, a student attests that the system is simple to use, allows quick feedback, and the opportunity to reflect on this to improve performance.
Cengage Special Award for Outstanding Service
BEST Pacific Institute of Education
BEST Pacific Institute of Education has been a pioneer in e-learning delivery since the launch of the first blended learning cohort in 2001 and a leader in growing digital literacy within the community. BEST’s dedication to meeting the educational and vocational needs of Auckland’s Pasifika communities presented unique challenges that had to be managed in the design of online education services that would continue to meet those needs.
As an early-adopter of online learning technology and methodology at a time when there was very limited e-learning development happening in New Zealand, BEST commissioned Paul Vautier, who ran the computer skills training programme at BEST since 1993, to research e-learning models and practices. It was Paul’s vision that launched BEST into the online blended learning environment.
The first student group of 20 was predominantly solo mothers from Auckland’s Pasifika communities who needed to care for their pre-school children and would not otherwise have been able to enroll in a tertiary education programme.
BEST’s students have responded positively to online learning. By 2010, 80% of enrolling students were opting for an e-learning programme. By 2015, fully classroom-based programmes were no longer in demand. As at 2017 100% of students within the School of Business and Technology are enrolled in programmes with e-Learning components.
BEST was also an early adopter of Moodle in NZ. BEST’s E-Learning Collaborative Fund project with WINTEC explored the possibilities of open source software. BEST regularly upgraded and refined its technology, with the most recent being in 2015.
BEST’s student communities frequently enrolled with low levels of digital literacy. This required distinct strategies within programme design to support them to become confident e-learners. As a result of this work, many thousands of Pasifika students have entered the work force with a level of digital literacy that meets the needs of employers in our digital economy.