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Renewed mandate for tertiary education reform

18 April 2001 Media Statement

Maharey: renewed mandate for tertiary education reform

Proposals to reform of New Zealand's tertiary education system have received wide public support, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey this evening addressed the Terrace End Rotary Club on tertiary education and welfare reform. Over 140 submissions were received on the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission's (TEAC) February report from business and tertiary education sector interests and the general public. It is planned to release the public submissions following Cabinet decisions on the reform proposals. Mr Maharey said the submissions clearly indicate support for the direction of Government policy and, particularly, for the TEAC proposals.

"Before the election both Labour and the Alliance campaigned on a promise to provide a strategic focus for New Zealand's tertiary education system. TEAC's proposals flesh out how we can achieve this objective and strengthen the system to meet the needs of the knowledge society.

"It is clear from the submissions I have received on the TEAC proposals that the Government has renewed its mandate to proceed with a comprehensive package of reforms to implement our vision.

"Key themes which have emerged in the submissions include:
- agreement that relying solely on study choices made by individual students has led to a directionless tertiary sector unable to respond as a system to the needs of business and the community;
- support for the comprehensive role of the proposed Tertiary Education Commission which would cover all post-school education, including industry training, adult and community education and learning in tertiary institutions; and,
- commitment from the various stakeholder groups to work together in partnership through the proposed Tertiary Education Commission to build a quality, focussed system sensitive to the needs of learners, industry and the wider society and committed to enhanced quality standards.

"Cabinet will now consider the views expressed in the submissions along with firm proposals based on the TEAC proposals. I expect that final decisions will be announced towards the end of May," Steve Maharey said.


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