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First Tertiary Priorities Statement

Tuesday, 9 July 2002

Sector Ownership Of Reforms Emphasised In First Tertiary Priorities Statement

Genuine ownership of the tertiary education reforms and a system more focused on quality is seen as the key to improving the connections between industry, the community and the sector.

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey released an interim Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities (STEP) today. It takes the Tertiary Education Strategy 2002/07 – which has a medium-term reach through to 2007 – and looks at the short-to-medium term priorities for tertiary education organisations, government departments and other agencies over the next 12 months. A STEP will be issued by the government at least once every three years.

Steve Maharey said the key priority for the STEP during 2002-3 is to develop the infrastructure and processes to support the new tertiary education system.

“We need to embed the new ways of thinking and working outlined in the Tertiary Education Strategy. Building strong outward looking relationships with the communities served by each tertiary education organisation is the top priority in this first STEP. The government can’t do this, only the sector itself can.

“The government wants to see the results of direct engagement with business, community and other stakeholders reflected in tertiary organisations’ own business and strategic planning. We have been careful not to load additional compliance costs onto tertiary education organisations, but we have also been clear to challenge each provider to carefully plan how they intend changing to meet the new environment.

“The government is balancing the need for change with the need for certainty and predictability within the system. Over 2002 and 2003 we will be establishing the new Tertiary Education Commission, improving the contribution of NZQA and the Careers Service to the reformed system and phasing in the new funding system for all providers.

“Quite significant changes have already occurred in the tertiary education system as a result of our reforms programme. This first STEP provides a transparent framework to the sector about where we intend to invest additional resources and the outcomes we are particularly seeking in the immediate future,” Steve Maharey said.


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