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Shaping The System For A Knowledge Society

The Tertiary Education Advisory Commission today released its second report – Shaping the System. The report sets out the Commission’s view on how the tertiary education system should be shaped and the tools and mechanisms to enable this and contains a number of important recommendations that will influence the way in which the tertiary education system operates. It follows on from the Commission’s first report, Shaping a Shared Vision, released in July 2000.

“This Report builds upon the vision for the tertiary education system developed in Shaping a Shared Vision, to create a tertiary education system that ensures all New Zealanders have access to lifelong learning in a knowledge society and that enables the achievement of excellence in teaching, learning and research” said Russell Marshall, Chairperson of the Commission.
“In Shaping a Shared Vision, the Commission identified the need for better tools to enable the Government to intervene intelligently in tertiary education, in a manner that safeguarded institutional autonomy and flexibility. The Commission’s key proposals to the Government address how this can be achieved” said Mr Marshall.

“The Report’s key recommendations are the establishment of an intermediary body we have called the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC); a new instrument for the finer description of the functions of the much greater variety of providers now working in this field; the expanded use and re-working of present Charter provisions; and a regime of Profiles for each institution seeking Government funding” said Mr Marshall.

“The establishment of a Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is the major recommendation of this Report. We propose that the TEC be an autonomous entity responsible for the whole of the tertiary education system, including adult and community education; colleges of education; industry training organisations; polytechnics; private training establishments; universities; and wananga” said Mr Marshall.

“We propose that the Tertiary Education Commission be made up of a board of people with an understanding of the needs of industry, providers and the wider community, including those of Maori, and be supported by a secretariat. It is recommended that its functions would include consulting and negotiating with providers over their charters and profiles, providing advice to the Minister in relation to matters such as changing trends and needs in the system, providing advice and guidance to providers, monitoring performance, and allocating government funding to achieve the strategic goals of the tertiary education system” said Mr Marshall.

“We are proposing that the Tertiary Education Commission would use a ‘profiling system’ to steer the tertiary education system. The proposed system has three elements – functional classifications, charters and profiles - designed to enable providers to focus on their special character and their contribution to the tertiary education system as a whole. The system also aims to discourage wasteful duplication while enabling providers to respond to the particular needs of the community they serve” said Mr Marshall.

“In addition we have proposed the establishment of centres and networks of research excellence. This is a proposal designed to provide extra funding for high-class research networks, and thereby to assist in the further development of high-quality research capability and capacity” added Mr Marshall.

“The Commission still has much work to do, and will produce two further reports in 2001. The Commission's third report will address the priorities and objectives for tertiary education, and the form and content of the tertiary education strategy. This report will be submitted to the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) in June 2001” said Mr Marshall.

“The Commission's fourth report will deal with the implementation of this strategy, including issues such as funding, co-operation and collaboration, and relevant courses and learning opportunities. This report will be submitted to the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) in August 2001”, added Mr Marshall.

“We are keen to engage in dialogue with and receive feedback from all those with an interest in the tertiary education system. The Commission will be participating in a series of public discussion forums around the country over the next month, and would encourage ongoing input into its work – work which we believe is of critical importance to New Zealand’s long term prosperity and well-being”, said Mr Marshall.


Contacts: Russell Marshall (04) 472 9723
TEAC Chairperson

Amanda Torr (04) 471 5346
TEAC Manager

Further information on the Commission’s reports and its work programme is available on its web site at Copies of the Commission’s reports are also available on its web site.

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