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Maharey welcomes back Tertiary Education Reform

20 May 2002 Media Statement

Maharey welcomes report back of Tertiary Education Reform Bill

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey today welcomed the report of Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee on the Tertiary Education Reform Bill.

The Bill, which is now awaiting its second reading, gives effect to the government’s decisions on the reform of the entire post-school education system. It establishes, from 1 July, a new permanent Crown entity – the Tertiary Education Commission –responsible for allocating annual funding of approximately $1.6b to tertiary education and training organisations, and for building the capacity of providers to contribute to national economic and social goals. The bill also implements the government’s decisions arising from the review of industry training and amends the Industry Training Act, and strengthens the quality assurance system for tertiary education.

Steve Maharey said he is pleased that the Select Committee has recommended that the Bill be passed, after incorporating a number of useful amendments.

“New Zealand requires a tertiary education system that supports the government’s broader vision for the nation’s broader economic and social development. The Bill is a key milestone in the Government’s programme to transform the tertiary education sector to better meet these goals.

“The Select Committee have made a number of useful amendments which will ensure these objectives are met, while respecting the important principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

“The suggested amendments to ensure that consultation with business, community and other stakeholders will always take place during the development of the tertiary education strategy are sensible and should ensure much greater sector ‘buy-in’. I also welcome the Committee’s recommendation that carrying out applied research and programme evaluation be a function of the Commission.

“I would like to thank the Select Committee, and those who made submissions on the original bill, for their work,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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