Ara Institute of Canterbury (Ara) is the largest Institute of Applied Sciences in the South Island (25,000 students) and one of the leading institutions of its kind in the country. Until 2016, Ara was known as the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT). On 31 March 2016 CPIT changed its name to Ara which means pathway to reflect the opportunities the institution offers.
The city campus is located 5 minutes walk from the city centre of Christchurch which was partially destroyed during the earthquake of 2011. However, Ara (then known as CPIT) remained unscathed during the earthquake which speaks for the safety of the buildings.
The city campus is about 5 miles away from the glorious beaches of New Brighton and Sumner. Christchurch is located on the South Island of New Zealand in the Canterbury region, which is famous for its geographical variety: The peaks and glaciers of the impressive Southern Alps, New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt Cook, the picturesque Banks Peninsula, natural hot springs at Hanmer Springs and the whale watching capitol Kaikoura are all located in Canterbury and can be easily reached from Christchurch. Christchurch is the geographical centre of the South Island and its metropole.
In New Zealand’s ranking, the Performance Based Research Fund, based on the scientific output of all employees, Ara (formerly CPIT) ranked 4th among all institutes of technologies in New Zealand. Ara offers a comprehensive range of programmes, which cover almost all subject areas. Ara specialises in Music Arts, Visual Art & Design, Nursing, Applied Management (Business), Engineering, Applied Science, Education, Information Technology, Architecture.
Ara hosts New Zealand’s only school for radio journalism and communication, the School of Broadcasting. Because of its unique character it has only limited capacity for international students.
Popular programmes include the Diploma in Video Post Production, Graduate Diploma in Information Design (Online) for which Ara has received an international award, Veterinary Nursing, and Sustainability & Outdoor Education. Programmes differ in length from 6 months to 3 years.
Graduate Diplomas, equivalent to the third year of a Bachelor’s degree, are offered in a variety of subjects. Successful completion of a Graduate Diploma (or a Bachelor degree) qualifies students for a Graduate Job Search Visa and is the perfect stepping stone for a career in New Zealand.
Because of the current rebuilt of Christchurch, the following programmes are particularly exciting: Architecture, Engineering and Applied Management. Graduates of these programmes will find excellent employment opportunities in Christchurch.
The School of English at Ara offers English for all levels and with interesting thematic priorities (Academic English, Business English, English & Business, Tourism & English), as well as one of only two IELTS Test Centres on the South Island.
Ara’s student apartments in Otautahi House are located next to the main campus in the city centre and offer shared accommodation for 6 students. The single room in a shared apartment is ca. NZD 180 per week incl. power and internet.
There are quite a few hostels in the immediate vicinity of Ara, these are the Vagabond Backpackers, Chester Street Backpackers, Foley Towers and The Old Country House.
Ara Institute of Canterbury (Ara)
Campus: Madras Street
PO Box 540
Telephone: 0064 3 940 8732