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SIT Invercargill – How the Polytechnic brings in new talent

Published on 17 June 2022

5 minute read

SIT Invercargill – How the Polytechnic brings in new talent Image

The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is Invercargill’s polytechnic that provides tertiary education and training programmes in several subjects and disciplines. The polytechnic was established in 1971 but has roots going back to the 1880s.

There are over 200 programmes offered in 33 different subject areas. Some of these subjects include Agriculture & Horticulture, Audio Production, Computing & IT, Education, Hospitality, Nursing & Health Science, and Maori Language & Arts. Almost all programmes are covered under the institution’s Zero Fees Scheme.

Zero Fees Scheme

The one thing that SIT is most known for is the Zero Fees Scheme. The Zero Fees Scheme is exactly what it sounds like: no fees for study. With no tuition fees, students are able to freely choose a programme and study with confidence without worrying about payment during or after study. The scheme covers tuition and general fees but not materials costs, so there may be some smaller expenses to account for. Occasionally these can be covered as well, such as SIT2LRN Distance Learning programs having no fees or material costs from 1 June 2022 to 31 December 2022.

Who is eligible for free fees?

Free fees is available to New Zealand citizens, residents, and even Australian residents living in New Zealand during their study. Other International students are not eligible.

Programme eligibility

Most, but not all programmes are part of the Zero Fees Schemes at SIT. Programmes need to be at least 12 weeks long, be funded by the Tertiary Education Commission, and lead to a national or local qualification. To find out if a programme is eligible, check the page for that specific programme. It will very clearly say that the programme is not eligible in cases where the Zero Fees Scheme doesn’t apply.

The SIT campus

The main campus is located in the downtown Invercargill on Tay St. About 14,000 students were part of the polytechnic during the last estimate in 2017, which includes students outside of Invercargill. There are several facilities on the main campus including a new creative centre, computer lab and student lounge.

New Creative Centre

Recently opened in 2021, the new creative centre on Tay street is a brand new building with state-of-the-art facilities for creative programmes. Many of the creative programmes such as Audio Production have moved to have instruction primarily in the new building. It includes soundproof studios and DJ Booths, editing rooms, a green screen room, and a cafe that is open to the public.

Computer lab

The computer lab at SIT is open to all students with a current student ID card. It is free for use for students and is open 24 hours.

Student Lounge

The student lounge is a place where students can relax and socialise. It includes game tables like pool and foosball along with some computers for student use, vending machines, and SKY TV.

Other facilities

SIT has many other facilities at the main campus too. These include a cafe and restaurant, gym with fitness equipment, childcare centre and more.

SIT Campuses

Along with the main SIT campus in Invercargill, there are several other campuses including Telford Rural Education Campus, one in Christchurch, Queenstown, Gore, and the MAINZ campus for Music & Audio. There is also the SIT2LRN distance learning online that can be done from anywhere.

Telford Rural Education Campus

The Telford Rural Education Campus helps students learn about the agricultural sector while giving them plenty of space for hands-on training and practice. Located on 856 hectares of farmland in Balclutha, Otago, the campus has a number of facilities, equipment, and vehicles students can use and practice with.

SIT Christchurch Campus

A small campus in Christchurch, this campus has programmes in Hair & Beauty, Health Sciences, Sports & Wellbeing and Trades & Technology. It also has free parking and workshops for carpentry, electrical, refrigeration and more.

SIT Queenstown Campus

Queenstown also has an SIT campus that has a limited number of courses. Degrees in Hotel Management and Business, Commerce & Management can be earned here. Other qualifications include technology, Education & Language and Hospitality.

SIT Gore Campus

The Gore Campus of SIT has certificates and diplomas in a few areas. The campus is in Gore, Southland and includes qualifications in Business, Education, Health Sciences, Hospitality and Information Technology.

MAINZ Campus

The Music and Audion MAINZ programme has a campus in both Christchurch and Auckland. In Auckland, the campus is within walking distance from the Māngere Town Centre and is used exclusively for students to train in Music and become a part of the industry. MAINZ courses are not part of the Zero Fees Scheme.

How does SIT perform compared to other polytechnics?

SIT is renowned not only for its Zero Fees Scheme but for some of its programmes as well. The Nursing programme, for example, is one of the top-performing in New Zealand, with many graduates working outside of Invercargill or even internationally.

Students tend to enjoy the campus as well. SIT recently sent out a Net Promoter Survey to students showing that 90% thought their programme was a good value. It also found that 97% of graduates were either working or doing further study.

With low costs in addition to good outcomes, the Southern Institute of Technology regularly attracts talent from New Zealand and around the world. Students find it affordable and worthwhile with practical applications after graduation, making it an excellent place to study.