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$45m support to transform tertiary education

17 May 2002

Budget 2002

$45 million support to transform the tertiary education sector

A range of specially funded projects to help public tertiary institutions respond more effectively to New Zealand’s economic growth and social development were announced today by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

The $35 million funding for these projects comes from the Tertiary Education Strategic Change Fund, established last year to provide one-off grants to assist tertiary education institutions to adapt to the more strategically focused environment in which they must now operate. Public tertiary education institutions were invited to submit applications for funding from the Strategic Change Fund and the funds were allocated according to their share of the overall government tuition funding.

An additional $10 million of strategic development funding, which will be available from 1 July 2003, is provided for in next week’s budget to ensure continuous improvement in future years. The Tertiary Education Commission, once established, will advise on the criteria for the allocation of this funding.

Steve Maharey said many of the broad range of projects focus on hi-tech developments that support innovation and efficiency.

“The government wants to see a more coordinated and coherent tertiary sector, strongly linked with the industries and communities that it serves. This was the goal of New Zealand’s first Tertiary Education Strategy, which I released earlier this week.

“The projects being funded by the Strategic Change Fund will support tertiary institutions to make changes that advance this goal.

“Examples of projects funded from the Strategic Change Fund include:

- Tertiary Education Pathways, which will see Manukau Institute of Technology working with school groups in its region on ways to help students progress seamlessly into tertiary education;

- a Technologist in Residence scheme at Waikato Institute of Technology to broaden teaching, staff professional development and marketing resources; and

- funding to assist Dunedin College of Education to work with the University of Otago on enhancing teacher education training in the region.

“Following the success of the initial funding round, the government has set aside a further $10 million for a contestable round to occur again in 2003. We are aware that there is a need to address capability levels within the tertiary sector to support continuous improvement.

“I am also announcing today further details on the Collaborating for Efficiency project. The project, for which $500,000 has been provided, will be used to develop collaborative strategies across the sector. I have now called for nominations for the steering group that will guide the study.

"Sharing of library services is likely to be one area canvassed through the study. I’m pleased to note that the Waikato University initiatives being supported through the Strategic Change Fund directly align with the work that will be undertaken through the Collaborating for Efficiency project,” said Steve Maharey.

17 May 2002 Fact sheet

Collaborating for Efficiency project

A $500,000 efficiency project called Collaborating for Efficiency will be undertaken in the 2002/03 financial year.

Collaborating for Efficiency aims to assist tertiary institutions to develop collaborative strategies through working together, and with industry sectors and Crown Research Institutes. Significant progress has been made in the last decade in improving the efficiency of the tertiary education sector. This is not to say, however, that these lessons have been as widely absorbed as possible. Some institutions have made significant strides in some areas, but not in others.

The focus of the Collaborating for Efficiency project will be to gain efficiencies through diagnosing and sharing best practice throughout the public tertiary education sector. There is value that can be added by sharing different experiences, and this will provide a further opportunity for the public tertiary education sector to act in an efficient, collaborative and co-operative manner to improve performance.

Collaborating for Efficiency will get underway in July 2002 and will be a key area of work for the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) and others will participate in and contribute to this important study.

There are two broad roles for the project:

- a diagnostic role, which is aimed at identifying and recognising good practice, encouraging the development and implementation of good practice and identifying developments that enhance efficiency and effectiveness; and

- a facilitative role, which is aimed at assisting tertiary institutions to develop collaborative strategies, including shared services, innovative course delivery/design and export education initiatives, which maximise efficiency and effectiveness of performance.

A steering group will be established to oversee and carry out the work of the study. Members will be drawn from the tertiary sector, supplemented by external representatives, with support provided by the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission. Nominations are currently being received for the steering group.

The steering group will determine the precise foci of the Collaborating for Efficiency project in line with government expectations.

Sub-groups will be formed to focus on areas such as staffing costs, capital costs, capital management including information management, entrepreneurial activity particularly in the areas of intellectual property and commecialisation and sharing of library services will be canvassed through this project.

Responsible to:

Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) through the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry of Education.


The Collaborating for Efficiency project has two major and enabling functions - diagnostic and facilitative, and will involve setting up a steering group to carry out its functions. The Tertiary Education Commission will guide the study and be represented on the steering group.

The diagnostic role relates to the identification and sharing of best practice development within and across the public tertiary education sector and in this area there will be a close relationship with the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry of Education. Individual Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) will be actively encouraged to adopt good practice, which has been demonstrated to enhance academic, research or financial performance. The intent is to accelerate the implementation of improvements across the public tertiary education sector through:

- identifying good practice;

- providing esteem and recognition for good practice and its further development;

- encouraging work on the development and implementation of recognised good practice, particularly involving collaboration; and

- enabling new developments designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

The facilitative role will be to assist TEIs to develop collaborative strategies, including shared services, innovation, course delivery/design and export education initiatives which maximise efficiency and effectiveness of performance. These collaborative initiatives would also include working with industry (e.g. fishing, forestry, boat building) and Crown Research Institutes.

The steering group will monitor the ongoing effectiveness of these initiatives. Several sub-groups will be established to oversee and carry out the work of the study. Members will be drawn from the tertiary sector, supplemented by external representatives, with support provided by the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission.


A steering group reporting to the Tertiary Education Commission will oversee the study. Individual sub-groups will comprise representatives from tertiary sub-sectors, geographical groupings, size groupings etc.


Having regard to government strategy, the conditions of the sector, and the special character of sub sectors, the outputs of this study will comprise:

- a report which summarises work undertaken and outlines next steps to maintain momentum. This will link to the capability development functions that will be part of the Tertiary Education Commission;

- a suite of case studies which demonstrate good practice in a number of key areas;

- a basis for monitoring:

i. the extent to which efficient management practices and processes are being employed;

ii. the extent to which the goals of collaboration and responsiveness are being achieved; and

iii. the impact that achievement of these goals has on performance;

- development of a matrix which enables each TEI to assess their performance against sector norms and best performance within the sector; and

- advice on how the results of the study should be used in the contexts of key accountability documents.

Desired Outcomes

The ultimate objective is to strengthen the contribution of TEIs to the Tertiary Education Strategy. To this end, there are a number of intermediate objectives that need to be achieved from Collaborating for Efficiency including:

- stronger institutions that are better positioned for strategic change;

- greater collaboration between TEIs;

- strong links with industry and research organisations (including Crown Research Institutes);

- responsiveness to student needs;

- higher levels of performance across a wide range of operational and financial performance measures;

- the ability to monitor and assess improvements in effectiveness and efficiency; and

- the ability to influence improvements in effectiveness and efficiency through use of various levers (including, in particular, charters and profiles).

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