Open Poly wins award . . .

A ground-breaking Kiwi eLearning project led by The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand has gained a prestigious US$100,000 award from the United States-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Open Polytechnic received the award for its leadership role in a project that makes it easier and cheaper for organisations to deploy eLearning platforms to support online learning for students and employees.

Supported by $1.5 million in funding from the Tertiary Education Commission, The Open Polytechnic project team selected an open source eLearning system, Moodle, and made improvements to it for widespread release.


The Open Polytechnic was one of 10 winners in this year’s Mellon awards and the only recipient in the Asia-Pacific region. It was also the only winner outside the United States to receive the maximum US$100,000 in prize money.

“From The Open Polytechnic’s perspective it is very gratifying to have this kind of recognition both for our expertise and for our ability to take a leadership role in large-scale collaborative eLearning projects.”

Project leader Richard Wyles attended the awards ceremony in Washington DC on December 11 with Open Polytechnic Chairperson Douglas Langford.