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Investigation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi completed

Investigation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi completed

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) have completed an investigation into practices at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi (TWWOA) including the delivery of the National Certificate in Māori Tourism (Hei Manaaki) programme.

An independent report by Deloitte, prepared as part of the investigation, found that TWWOA were overfunded for the delivery of the Hei Manaaki programme. It also found that monitoring and oversight of the programme was poor and it highlighted some internal inadequacies in TWWOA’s academic oversight processes.

As a consequence, the TEC has recovered $5.9 million from TWWOA. This recovery takes into consideration Crown funds provided to the institution to deliver the Hei Manaaki programme since 2009.

The overfunding has been accumulated since changes were made by TWWOA to the way the course was delivered in 2009. The material course changes were not approved by NZQA at the time and if they had been would have resulted in a substantial reduction in funding for the programme.

“It is the individual institution’s responsibility to ensure it has the appropriate approval and management controls in place in order to receive government funding. The TEC is very disappointed that TWWOA has failed to do this as we expect tertiary providers to deliver what they are approved to deliver,” said TEC deputy chief executive officer Gus Gilmore.

A further Deloitte forensics investigation, initiated by TWWOA, uncovered additional irregularities relating to two contractors of the Hei Manaaki programme which have been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

“The TEC and NZQA are committed to supporting effective programme delivery at TWWOA and we will continue to work with TWWOA to ensure the learning delivered by the wānanga is meeting the performance standards required,” says NZQA deputy chief executive Jane von Dadelszen.

“If students are concerned about their qualifications they should contact TWWOA who will talk them through their options. Students are our priority and NZQA and TWWOA will continue to work together to ensure no individual is disadvantaged.”
In addition to the investigation at TWWOA both TEC and NZQA have also been undertaking an investigation into selected courses at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, which involves Deloitte. This investigation is expected to be completed shortly.

The TEC and NZQA have confidence in the quality assurance and management oversight in the sector however we will now be seeking reassurance of that by conducting a focused review at organisations in the sector. These reviews will focus on provision that has similar features to that highlighted at TWWOA such as rapid growth of individual courses coupled with unusually high completion rates and a high reliance on sub-contracted provision.

ENDS

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