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Tertiary Education Advisory Commission Appointment

Tertiary Education Advisory Commission chair appointed

Renowned educationalist Norman Kingsbury has been appointed to chair the Government's new Tertiary Education Advisory Commission (TEAC), the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey, said today.

The Commission will advise Mr Maharey on how the Government can ensure tertiary education provision meets New Zealanders' needs in the knowledge society. The competitive tertiary education system championed by National has led to rising costs, put the viability of institutions at risk and cut the range of course offerings available to students.

Mr Maharey said Mr Kingsbury was the clear stand-out choice from amongst 250 nominations to head the new Commission and he was delighted that he had accepted the appointment.

"Norman Kingsbury has a long and distinguished career in tertiary education and is well respected throughout the tertiary sector. The Government considers itself very fortunate that we have been able to attract a person of his calibre to head the Commission because we see it as the centrepiece of our tertiary education policy.

"National's tertiary education marketplace has put at risk educational standards, led to a homogenisation of course offerings and pushed costs through the roof. We are signalling a radical departure from this model towards a cooperative, collaborative and specialised tertiary sector that will properly equip us for the knowledge society.

"Staff within tertiary institutions must be given the chance to become knowledge leaders in their disciplines and students need to be assured that they are receiving education that matches world standards.

"The Commission will have the key role of building consensus amongst the tertiary sector and New Zealanders about how we can aim for the best and succeed. Mr Kingsbury will be invaluable in ensuring we meet this objective.

"I will be appointing six or seven further members to the Commission within the next fortnight following proper consideration by Cabinet," Steve Maharey said.


Norman Kingsbury
JP, MA(NZ), MA(Exon), Hon D Waikato.

Norman Kingsbury was appointed Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) in October 1999 and has been very active in building its capacity to meet its legislative requirements and to respond to new social and educational requirements.

Norman Kingsbury’s career is unusual in that it spans the whole of the tertiary education sector. Beginning as a student leader nationally and internationally, he then held senior positions in the administration of universities, developed strong links with polytechnics, colleges of education and, more recently, wananga and private training establishments.

Immediately prior to taking up the position with NZQA, he held the following appointments:
 Chair of the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit (on the invitation of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee), from its establishment in 1994.
 Chair of the New Zealand Polytechnic Programmes Committee (on the invitation of the Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand), from 1996.
 Provost for the establishment of the new postgraduate college being endowed by Waikato-Tainui to memorialise the raupatu settlement (on the invitation of Waikato-Tainui), from 1998.

From 1990, Norman Kingsbury operated a consultancy in education and administration, working mainly with Government, the tertiary organisations and the institutions, concentrating particularly on funding and quality matters and on appropriate organisational structures. Norman interrupted his consultancy between 1991 to 1993 and was Director of Tertiary Education Implementation for the Ministry of Education.

Norman Kingsbury has long-standing interests in the promotion of Mäori education and the provision of educational opportunities for Mäori. He was very active in promoting the teaching of te reo and the development of Mäori studies and research at the University of Waikato. He has also continued with these concerns at a national level and he was appointed by the Minister of Education to the Establishment Committee (under section 169 of the Education Act) for two of the three wananga.

From 1988-90, he was Secretary for Works at the University Grants Committee, but spent most of his time on secondment to the Learning for Life reforms.

From 1978 to 1980 he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat Fund for Technical Cooperation to establish the administration for the new University of Botswana and to assist the Governments of Botswana and Swaziland to reach agreement on the long-term provision of tertiary education opportunities for each other’s students.

Norman Kingsbury was appointed Foundation Registrar of the University of Waikato in 1964, a position he held until 1988. He was also a foundation member of the Council of Waiariki Polytechnic and the Council of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic serving some eight years on each.

Norman Kingsbury headed the secretariat of the International Student Conference between 1957-1959 and from 1960 to 1963 he was a member of the International Executive of World University Service, Geneva.

Tertiary Education Advisory Commission
Summarised terms of reference

Education provided by tertiary education providers is vitally important to New Zealand building a true knowledge society and achieving economic benefits. The quality of our knowledge and skills base will determine our future success in the global economy and as a cohesive society.

Government's vision for the Tertiary Education Sector
In order to become a world-leading knowledge society that provides all New Zealanders with opportunities for lifelong learning, New Zealand needs:
 a more co-operative and collaborative tertiary education sector;
 a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and research;
 a greater sense of partnership between the key contributors to the sector;
 a commitment to the nation's future direction by all those involved in the sector,
 an environment where participation by all is encouraged
 an environment where the needs of Mäori are supported, and which gives recognition to the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles;
 a sector that fully supports regional and local communities; and
 well-managed institutions and providers that work together to meet the education and research needs of the nation.

The Commission's Role
The Commission is a Ministerial advisory body that will provide advice to the Minister on the strategic direction, and will carry out further specific reviews as agreed with the Minister. The work of the Commission will focus on the sector as a whole rather than on individual institutions.

The Commission's Work
The Commission will initially develop a strategic direction for tertiary education in New Zealand. The initial work will involve the fleshing out of Government’s vision for tertiary education that will best serve New Zealand’s human capability development into the future. The aim shall be to produce a high–level strategic direction which has wide acceptance that will endure over the medium to longer term.

Over the term of this Government the Commission will be asked to provide advice on:
 the future 'shape' of the sector;
 opportunities for increased collaboration and co-operation;
 how tertiary providers and students can be best positioned to provide and participate in courses of study that complement New Zealand’s social, economic and regional needs;
 the basic principles to guide funding for research in tertiary education; and
 the basic principles to guide Government’s approach to financial support for tertiary education that recognise the differing cost of different education content.

Commission Membership
The Commission will comprise up to eight strategic thinkers selected for their vision, expertise and credibility. They will have the ability to reflect upon the outcomes sought from tertiary education, evaluate approaches, and find innovative solutions to complex problems. There will be an appropriate balance of gender and ethnicity, public/private sector, education/research/business/community, Maori, and international/New Zealand expertise on the Commission.

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