Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Tertiary Education Reform Bill Fails Test

Tertiary Education Reform Bill Fails Desirability Test

The introduction of 'central steering' in the tertiary education sector, as proposed in the Tertiary Education Reform Bill (TERB), is likely to fail, according to the New Zealand Business Roundtable (NZBR).

"While the TERB's objectives are laudable, its prescription of central steering based on a 'desirability test' is unlikely to deliver better tertiary education outcomes", said Norman LaRocque, policy advisor at the NZBR.

Mr LaRocque said the underlying premises of the TERB – that there is 'excessive' competition and duplication in the tertiary education sector and that central steering will yield better outcomes than a decentralised system – are unsupported.

"While central steering may look persuasive on paper, it generally fails in practice – witness the recent experience with school roll growth in Auckland. It is likely to result in more red tape for institutions, less choice for students, more scope for arbitrary funding decisions and greater micro-management of the sector", Mr LaRocque said.

According to Mr LaRocque, government policy should focus on supporting informed choice and healthy competition in the tertiary education sector, and more autonomy, not less, for institutions within it. Policies that would help achieve this include aligning funding for public and private institutions, improving quality assurance and taking further steps to improve information in the sector. The government should also eliminate the fee-freeze, revamp governance arrangements and reverse recent student loan changes, all of which were identified as issues by TEAC, he said.

"The NZBR would be happy to join the government and sector stakeholders in developing a reform package to better meet the needs of the tertiary sector and the country as a whole", Mr LaRocque concluded.

The NZBR presented its TERB submission to the Education and Science Select Committee on 20 March. The submission will be available at


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>