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BUDGET 2001:Tertiary Education Commission

24 May 2001

Government to establish Tertiary Education Commission

The Government will set up a new Tertiary Education Commission to improve the quality, relevance and cost effectiveness of the tertiary education sector, Associate Education [Tertiary Education] Minister Steve Maharey said today.

"The decision is in response to Shaping the System - the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission's report received by the Government in February.

"Clearly tertiary education has a fundamental role to play in the development of a knowledge society. But the present system is fragmented, suffers from a lack of differentiation and does not produce sufficient graduates with the skills the economy needs."

The proposed Tertiary Education Commission [TEC] would provide better integration across the sector and foster stronger involvement by stakeholders, including industry and the community.

"All publicly funded providers and industry training organisations will be subject to a system of profiles and charters that set out their strategic direction and activities and detail how they align with the overall tertiary education strategy.

"The TEC will be responsible for regulating and funding the entire tertiary sector, comprising our universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, wananga, private and community providers, foundation education [Training Opportunities and Youth Training], industry training and adult and community education providers.

"It will assume the functions currently performed by Skill New Zealand and the tertiary resourcing section of the Ministry of Education.

"The Commission will also coordinate broad stakeholder engagement in the ongoing development of a tertiary education strategy to guide its decisions about the allocation of taxpayer funds.

"A Transition TEC will be set up as a unit within the Ministry of Education in the middle of this year. $2.13 million has been reallocated within Vote Education for this purpose.

"Several working parties are to be established immediately to develop the detail of the Commission's procedures and structure, including the charter and profiling system, the size and composition of the board and the process for integrating existing agencies into the new regime.

"Legislation giving effect to the permanent establishment of the Tertiary Education Commission will be introduced into Parliament towards the end of this year," Steve Maharey said.


ENDS

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