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Tertiary Education Advisory Commission begins work

The Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey, met with members of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission today as the group got down to work.

The Commission, which was meeting for the first time today in Wellington, will advise the Government on how it can ensure tertiary education provision meets New Zealanders' needs in the knowledge society. Mr Maharey said he was pleased the Government has been able to bring together such a strong Commission able to draw on considerable expertise and knowledge of the tertiary education environment.

"This Government has made a strong commitment to ensuring all New Zealanders have the skills needed to succeed in tomorrow's knowledge society. We moved quickly to lower the cost of tertiary study with our changes to the loans scheme because we know that we must invest in people if our economy and society are to prosper.

"The formation of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission shows we are equally serious about getting the tertiary education system right. National created a tertiary education marketplace, putting at risk educational standards and threatening regional provision for the sake of ideological purity.

"Enough is now enough. I have asked the Commission to help me build a cooperative, collaborative and specialised tertiary sector that can respond to New Zealanders needs and properly equip us for the future.

"Today's first Commission meeting signals the start of a new focus on a quality, accessible tertiary education system. Last year we said we would commit this Government to reinvesting in excellence and focusing on our ability to build the skills of New Zealanders.

"I am pleased that TEAC has begun working on this project and I look forward to working with them over the coming years to get our tertiary system back on track," Steve Maharey said.


Contact: Michael Gibbs, Press Secretary, (04) 471 9154 or (025) 270 9115. Biographical details of members of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission and summarised terms of reference are attached.


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Membership of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission
Norman Kingsbury (Chair) is the Chief Executive of NZQA. He has broad, high-level experience, gained over an period, with the various types of providers that make up New Zealand’s tertiary education sector. This has included experience as Chair of the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit, and of the New Zealand Polytechnics Programmes Committee; both organisations responsible for assuring the quality of tertiary education, involvement in educational opportunities for Maori, and in the implementation of major changes within the sector. He was foundation Registrar for the University of Waikato and foundation member of the Waiariki and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Councils.
Professor Jonathan Boston is Professor of Public Policy at Victoria University. He has specialised in tertiary education policy. He was a member of the 1999 Ministry of Education Research Funding Reference Group.
Tony Hall is the Director of the Academy Group, a private training establishment specialising in a range of educational and vocational options. He has experience in the private education sector, and tertiary education programmes such as Training Opportunities Programme, Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource programme, and industry training. He was a co-founder of the New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers.
Dr Patricia Harris is a prominent scientist and the Corporate Manager, Science and Technology, at AgResearch. She has a strong understanding of research policy, particularly scientific research, both as a practitioner and from a strategic perspective. She is a director of the Health Research Council, member of the FRST Post-Doctoral Fellowship Committee, and the Food and Beverage Exporters Council.
John Ruru is a forestry management consultant. He has a strong business background and Maori development experience. He has experience with industry training, is a director of Cedenco Foods Ltd, and Chairman of Te Aitanga A Mahaki Research Unit.
Dr Linda Sissons is the Chief Executive of Hutt Valley Polytechnic. She has experience in the polytechnic sector, knowledge of issues relating to women and education, and has a background in continuing and distance education. She has been a member of the Board of the Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation.
Associate Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith is Director of the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland. She has experience in research, policy, wananga, and Maori needs and aspirations for development. She was a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Employment of Women, a founding member of the establishment group for Kura Kaupapa Maori, and Academic Advisor for Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi.
Emeritus Professor Ivan Snook is Emeritus Professor of Education at Massey University. He has extensive experience in the pre-service and in-service education of teachers both at colleges of education and universities. He has been involved with various teacher groups and Polytechnics, and has published extensively on education issues. He was also the Foundation Chairman of the Human Ethics Committee.


Sir Colin Maiden, Special Advisor to the Chair, is an experienced company director and former vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland.
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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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