Ara Institute of Canterbury – formerly CPIT Institute of Technology

Ara Institute of Canterbury is not just the South Island’s biggest polytechnic but with more than 22,000 full or part time students, is one of the largest tertiary institutions in the country. The institute offers more than 150 courses for students from foundation level through to postgraduate level.

Ara came into being in early 2016 following the merger of CPIT with Aoraki Polytechnic to provide broader and more flexible vocational training for students in the South Island and further afield. Business, science, ICT and youth pathway programmes have been extended to South Canterbury this year, and Ara has introduced Māori and Pasifika Trades Training in Timaru as well.

Getting you skilled up and work-ready a huge focus for Ara

Based in a rebuilding and exciting Christchurch, Ara plays a huge role in aligning student education and skills across a huge range of subjects with the needs of their likely employers. Ara’s tutors are experts or industry professionals in their field, and their knowledge, practical experience and professional contacts help ensure graduates are work-ready from day one.

Ara has two main campuses in Christchurch - Madras Street and the AraTrades on Ensors Road - plus five community-based Campus Connect campuses. There are excellent cafés and other facilities on campus and the large student body provides many social events to enhance the Ara Institute student experience.

As well as a large range of trade, applied science and business courses Ara offers highly regarded practical fine arts programmes for students including, fashion, music and others. Ara hosts New Zealand’s only school for radio journalism and communication, the School of Broadcasting.

Some accommodation options are available for first year students at Ara

Some accommodation at Ara Institute of Canterbury in Christchurch is available at Ōtautahi House and the Addington Student Village. Ōtautahi House has rooms for 72 students in 12 secure apartments, each offering six single bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, showers and toilets. The Addington Student Village offers rooms from $115 to $130 per week and is 30 minutes walk from the main Ara campus.

If you fancy a bit of travel, eligible students are able to choose to do 6–12 months of their study at one of Ara’s many partner institutions in Europe, USA, and through Asia in China, Japan and Korea.

Left school without all the NCEA grades you might need

Ara provides plenty of courses for students who may have left high school without NCEA Level 2 or 3. Have a look at their foundation studies A number of these courses are provide free to eligible students through the Youth Pathways and the Youth Guarantee programmes at Ara.

Christchurch provides Ara with a perfect place for its students to learn in a city that is undergoing immense change. Ara students and staff can really participate in the rejuvenation of the city. The local business community has a strong relationship with the former CPIT and work experience is often involved as a key aspect of the Ara Institute of Canterbury study experience.

Ara Institute of Canterbury study areas:

Ara Institute of Canterbury Website

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New Zealand Polytechnics

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