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NZ Vice-Chancellors' Committee News Bulletin

NZVCC Electronic News Bulletin
Vol. 6 No. 7
2 May 2006

Lead item …

Taking “the next steps”

While Tertiary Education Minister Dr Michael Cullen has been on the road selling his “next steps” tertiary education reforms, a sector agency seminar in Wellington tomorrow will expand on the policy development involved to a stakeholder audience. Presentations will be made by Tertiary Education Commission Chief Executive Janice Shiner and Group Manager, Policy and Advice, Susan Shipley. In a background paper distributed to support the seminar, TEC says (under a “distinctive contributions” heading) that as far as universities are concerned, two points need to be considered: the extent to which current descriptions of universities in the Education Act help to ensure their roles are clear and well understood and, what outcomes are sought from universities.

The seminar invitation says the overall direction of reform is consistent with shifts in thinking within the sector since 2000. Changes sought are about bringing more clarity to the roles of different types of provision, a new design for funding and a greater emphasis on quality and monitoring throughout the system. Following the seminar presentations there will be an exchange of views and questions about the reforms and a discussion on ways “to increase engagement”.

In recent weeks Dr Cullen has outlined the basis of his reform programme to audiences at Waikato University and UCOL polytechnic graduation ceremonies and the opening of a new lecture theatre complex at Massey University’s Albany campus. Included in his speeches were the following statements:

“Funding will inevitably reflect a combination of enrolments and other important indicators, including factors such as course completion and other outcome measures. It is imperative that what we reward in the tertiary system is not just signing people on, but guiding them through to a successful outcome. The existing system has encouraged too much of a short-term focus, and not enough attention has been paid to giving good advice to students and ensuring that the courses of study they enrol in are appropriate to their abilities and aspirations.

“The funding system will take into account each institution’s broader plan to deliver courses that have a strategic fit with what the community and employers need over the medium to long term. What we are seeking to do is to invest explicitly in those plans, provided that they are soundly based and reflect a broad consultation with employers and the community.”
Other items …

More university places to boost Australian health workforce

The Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee has welcomed an Australian Government announcement that university funding would be increased by A$250 million to address health workforce shortages. AVCC president Professor Gerard Sutton said the additional 400 places for medicine and 1000 places for nursing were a real commitment to investing in the on-going sustainability of Australia’s health workforce. It was also pleasing to note that the Government had increased funding from A$690 to A$1000 a year for each nursing student’s clinical training. The AVCC would work with both federal and state governments to ensure that the medical student loading, similar to that for nursing, was also addressed. Medical students also needed to have properly funded, high-quality clinical placements to prepare them for the workforce.

RMLA offers Fellowship

The Resource Management Law Association is offering a fellowship study award worth up to $30,000. Candidates in mid-career with an established track record in resource management are being sought. The RMLA is looking to establish a prestigious award – similar to a Churchill Fellowship – and wants to attract high calibre candidates. Designed to promote leadership in resource management, the fellowship is offered for study or practical experience and may address any subject that reflects the RMLA’s broad objective: “To promote, within New Zealand, an understanding of the role of resource management law and management processes which are legally sound, effective and efficient, and which produce high quality environmental outcomes.” Grants up to $30,000 will be made for travel, accommodation and course fees and must be taken up within 12 months of the award. Those interested should contact the RMLA’s Executive Officer, Karol Helmink:

NZUniGradReport published

The NZVCC has published the second in a new series of reports based on its annual University Graduate Destinations Survey. NZUniGradReport number one looks at characteristics and outcomes for the 19,454 Bachelor/Bachelor with Honours graduates who became eligible to graduate from a New Zealand university in 2004. Those graduates were surveyed mid-way through last year, under the auspices of the NZVCC Standing Committee on Graduate Employment. The other two reports on the survey are NZUniGradStats (the full survey population, published late last year) and NZUniPostgradReport which is currently in production. A PDF of NZUniGradReport is available for download from the publications section (under “Advocacy”) of the NZVCC website:

Nelson student wins Myers Scholarship

Kinley Salmon from Nelson has been awarded the 2006 Douglas Myers Scholarship to Cambridge University. The NZVCC-administered scholarship, established by businessman Douglas Myers in 2000, funds three years’study at his old college, Gonville and Caius. Kinley was proxime accessit at Nayland College in 2004, gaining first place in biology and English while studying a year ahead of his peers. He spent seven months of last year on an STS high school exchange to Spain where he lived with a family in Cadiz. At Cambridge, Kinley intends taking a BA degree in social and political science.

2006 Fish & Game Scholarship awarded

Mark Delaney, currently completing a Masters at Massey University’s Albany campus, has been awarded the 2006 Fish & Game Scholarship to support his research into the ecology of paradise shelduck. Mark completed a BSc at the University of Auckland and has been involved in research dealing with saddlebacks, North Island robin and avian population/vegetation analysis on Kapiti Island. Fish & Game offers the $10,000 annual scholarship to research the scientific management, social, cultural and political issues related to this country’s freshwater sports fish and game birds. The award is administered by the NZVCC.

The New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee Electronic News Bulletin is produced every second Tuesday and distributed to parties with an interest in the Committee’s affairs. Back issues are archived on the NZVCC website:

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