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Te Wananga o Aotearoa calls for urgent NZQA audit

Te Wananga o Aotearoa calls for urgent NZQA audit

Te Wananga o Aotearoa – New Zealand’s largest tertiary education institution - today requested the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to urgently carry out another quality audit to restore its academic reputation.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa Chief Executive, Dr Rongo Wetere, said NZQA’s 2003 audit was largely positive. The report states: “generally, students are succeeding in wananga programmes”.

Dr Wetere said as recently as last month the Minister of Tertiary Education* announced that “students studying at wananga have the highest rate of progression from certificate level courses to higher level courses in the tertiary sector (higher than students studying at universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and all other tertiary education organisations)”.

The audit report also found the institution was delivering on one of its key objectives, which was to make learning more accessible for students.

Sixteen requirements had been listed in the NZQA 2003 Quality Audit report.

Dr Wetere said all sixteen – which covered management, quality, process and health and safety issues of varying magnitude – had been addressed immediately on receipt of the draft report.

“We have written to NZQA today asking them to conduct another audit as a matter of urgency as we are confident all highlighted issues have been addressed.

“We want NZQA to satisfy themselves that their requirements are met, then issue a public statement proclaiming this. We want this sorted out immediately.

“Our academic reputation is extremely important to Te Wananga o Aotearoa, to our staff and our students. Indeed our success is transforming not only the lives of many Maori, but having a significantly positive impact on New Zealand society. Our 2003 Annual Report records that 59% of our students are Maori and 41% non-Maori.”

Dr Wetere said recent media reports about the 2003 audit had been selective, and were being used by some to make political capital.

The report found:

Personnel in key management positions had been recruited, including an Academic Quality Manager. These personnel have been tasked with strengthening the infrastructure and quality management systems. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu had given an unqualified financial audit opinion of Te Wananga o Aotearoa. Courses had “attracted and returned to education many Maori whose previous educational experiences have been negative”. Wananga staff at various levels expressed a sense of unity of purpose and commitment to the kaupapa (philosophy) of Te Wananga o Aotearoa. Te Wananga o Aotearoa was making a significant contribution to the professional development of staff, including the up-grading of qualifications. The opportunity for all staff to learn te reo Maori at the weekly three-hour sessions offered on all campuses is unique.

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