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Polytechnics commit to Quality Reinvestment

3 November 2005

Polytechnics commit to Quality Reinvestment Programme

Polytechnics and wānanga have received more than $4 million in funding designed to help them plan for changes in the tertiary education sector.

Nineteen out of 23 eligible polytechnics and wānanga have each received $250,000 under the government’s new Quality Reinvestment Programme.

To qualify, institutions signed a council resolution agreeing to support the programme’s aims of developing a network of quality, relevant and value-for-money certificate and diploma provision in the next five years.

A number of polytechnics are working towards applying for the programme’s second stage $750,000 payment. To receive this providers must show the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) that factors beyond their control, such as competition and the geographic size and population of their catchment area, is making it difficult for them to maintain quality, relevant provision.

TEC Liaison and Development Group Manager Max Kerr said retaining the status quo was not an option and the TEC‘s role was to help the tertiary education sector prepare for the changes.

“The Quality Reinvestment Programme is seen as key to the success of the wider tertiary education reforms,” he said. “Providers need to think about what the government is trying to achieve which is less duplication of courses and greater collaboration between providers in course delivery.

“The government has allocated $200m over five years for this programme. That’s a long-term investment. It’s clear the government is looking for substantial change.

“We have got to take the plunge together with the sector and look at what changes need to be made in every institution,” Max Kerr said.


Quality Reinvestment Programme
Backgrounder November 2005

The Quality Reinvestment Programme (QRP) is a five year project at the forefront of changes being put in place by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) under the umbrella of the Certificate and Diploma Programme.

The purpose of the project is to support providers to align their certificate and diploma courses with the 2005-07 Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities (STEP) and to build up a network of quality, relevant provision that meets the needs of learners, employers, their communities and New Zealand as a whole.

The $200 million project will be rolled out in three stages. To qualify for the initial $250,000 Stage One payment, institutions must pass a council resolution agreeing to support the programme’s aims. This funding will assist with capability development, strategic thinking, analysis and planning.

Stage Two consists of a $750,000 payment. To be eligible for this, providers must be able to demonstrate that factors beyond their control, including competition, and the geographic size and population of their catchment area, are making it difficult for them to maintain quality and relevant provision.

They must also supply a profile confirming a commitment to developing a strategic direction and provision outlined in STEP and evidence of strategic thinking toward developing a long-term Stage Three alignment plan. Stage Three funding will become available on a case-by-case basis in 2006.

The Current Situation

So far 19 of the country’s 23 polytechnics and wānanga have signed up to Stage One (see list below). A number of providers have applied for Stage Two funding and the TEC is currently working through these applications with the institutions.

Polytechnic chief executives met with the TEC, Ministry of Education and Tertiary Advisory Monitoring Unit (TAMU) representatives for a two-day workshop on October 25 and 26. Discussion focused on the desired future features of an ITP network of provision

It is considered vital to have a self-regulating, student focussed sector with policies to address issues of competition, course duplication and to manage provider behaviour and performance. Collaboration is regarded as imperative in order for substantial change to happen.

Stage One Quality Reinvestment Programme funding recipients

Aoraki Polytechnic
Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
Unitec New Zealand
Christchurch Polytechnic Inst of Tech
Eastern Institute of Technology
Wellington Institute of Technology
Nelson Marlborough Inst of Technology
Northland Polytechnic
Otago Polytechnic
Whitireia Community Polytechnic
Southern Institute of Technology
Tairawhiti Polytechnic
Western Institute of Technology Taranaki
Waiariki Institute of Technology
Waikato Institute of Technology
The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Tai Poutini Polytechnic
Telford Rural Polytechnic
Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi

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