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Government Welcomes Tertiary Commission Report

The Government is warmly welcoming the report of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission released today says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

The tertiary education marketplace constructed over the last decade is incapable of producing the educational or research outcomes New Zealand needs going in to the 21st Century. Problems in the sector include a lack of responsiveness to the needs of the economy and society, the inability for students to easily transfer between different providers and a pervasive competitive ethic which focuses on attracting greater numbers of students rather than competing internationally on quality teaching and research output.

Mr Maharey said the Government accepted the Commission's central recommendation that it had to actively intervene in the system and steer it in a more strategic direction.

"The reform process proposed by the Commission will involve the Government coming back in as a major player. We accept this challenge.

"The new Commission proposed in the report provides a mechanism to bring together all the various stakeholders – business and government, students and those who work in the sector, and the wider society – to drive tertiary education as a whole system. It is a bold proposal that has much merit.

"The Government is now seeking the views of New Zealanders on the Commission's proposals.

"Over the coming month I'll be travelling to Hamilton (March 9), Wellington (March 15), Palmerston North (March 17), Christchurch (March 22), Auckland (March 29) and Dunedin (March 31) to talk to stakeholders directly. Public submissions on the report close with my office on 7 April 2001. Final Government decisions can be expected by the end of May," Steve Maharey said.

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