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Polytechnic Research To Have Distinct Role

Polytechnic Research To Have Distinct Role - Maharey

Polytechs will be encouarged to develop a distinct focus for their research based on community and industry needs, vocational learning and the greater use of partnerships, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey addressed the Research in the Polytechnics: Strategies for Success conference at Northland Polytechnic this morning. It is now ten years since polytechnics have been able to offer degrees which saw the growth of research projects to support degree-level teaching. Mr Maharey said the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission would be giving careful consideration to how the contribution of polytechnic research within a nationwide tertiary system could be maximised.

"Polytechnic researchers are involved in a number of valuable projects closely linking to local industry and offering work experience to students. Examples include work at Otago Polytechnic using exisiting electric fencing to monitor farm rainfall, temperature and trough levels and the work of Whitireia Polytechnic's Pacific Health Research Centre.

"These projects are good examples of the distinctive contribution polytechnic researchers can make within the cohesive nation-wide system of tertiary education the Government is working to build.

"The principles that underpin our approach to refocussing the polytechnic research effort are clear:
 polytechnics will have a distinct role from universities emphasising diversity, vocational training and promoting community learning;
 polytechnics will continue to be able to offer degrees;
 all degrees will be required to have a research underpinning and this requirement will be enforced;
 research spending throughout the tertiary sector will be focussed strategically aiming to build centres of research excellence; and,
 better use will be made of inter-institutional collaborative projects and information and communications technology (ICT).

"These principles will guide the considerations of the TEAC over the next year as it grapples with the design of a new funding system and the strategic role each institution can make within the nation-wide system of tertiary education," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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