A horde of graduates clad in glad-rags and gowns paraded on the streets of New Plymouth yesterday afternoon to kick off Witt's largest graduation ever.
Last night was the ceremony for degree and diploma students and 168 of them stepped up on stage to receive qualifications.
There are 366 students graduating from 16 different programmes with 21 different qualifications this year - a record for the polytech.
Witt director of marketing Danny Hall said the large number of graduates showed people had an interest in life-long learning.
"I think it shows there is a growing interest in tertiary education."
Speaking to graduates at the ceremony last night was Dr Farah Palmer, a former captain of the Black Ferns who was brought up in Pio Pio.
Mr Hall said he thought her speech resonated with the students as she talked about her experiences and encourage them to embrace opportunities.
One proud graduate already embracing job opportunities was chef Monique Curtain, 22, who moved to Taranaki from Nelson to complete the diploma of cookery.
"I learned so much I wouldn't have known otherwise."
Though she had been baking and cooking with her family since she was young and had four years previous experience as a chef she felt she needed the formal training to move forward with her career.
"I needed the piece of paper."
One of the most important skills the she had learnt was the art of "plating up" food so it was presented nicely.
She said she had thoroughly enjoyed the practical aspects of the course and the supportive and helpful tutors.
She has already picked up a job working as a chef at Cobb & Co in New Plymouth.
- Taranaki Daily News
Where do you buy most of your books nowadays?Related story: Online sales final page for independent bookshop