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Maharey welcomes establishment of Career Colleges’


Maharey welcomes establishment of Career Colleges’ Association

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey is welcoming the launch today of the Career Colleges’ Association – a new grouping of private training establishments.

Steve Maharey formally launched the Association this evening at a function held at the offices of Business New Zealand held in Wellington. He said the government’s tertiary education reforms provide a strong on-going role for the private training sector and that the government looks forward to working with the Association during and after their implementation.

“The thrust of our tertiary education reforms is to harness the important contribution of PTEs in ways that complement, rather than compete with, public tertiary education institutions.

“We want to arrive at a point where the whole sector is working together as one, but each with different roles.

“The Career Colleges’ Association will have an important role in fostering good practice in the sector. In particular its stated intention to work together to measure and improve completion and placement rates is very welcome.

“I also know that the Tertiary Education Commission will welcome your ambition to work constructively with government agencies, and will look forward to developing a relationship with you.

“This Association is the first new grouping of tertiary education organisations to be formed since the elements to the tertiary education reforms were decided upon and, for this reason as well, I am very pleased to welcome the formation of the Career Colleges’ Association,” Steve Maharey said.


Working together to support learning Private provision within a connected tertiary education system

Maharey Speech at the launch of the Career Colleges’ Association. Business New Zealand boardroom.

Thanks for inviting me to celebrate with you the launch of the Career Colleges’ Association. I want right at the start to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the private training establishment (PTE) sector to tertiary education in this country.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR

PTEs are recognised, as a sector, to possess particular strengths, including: the ability to be flexible and innovative; the ability to “staircase” learners from lower to higher level education provision; the ability to cater for niche areas in education provision; the ability to provide education within a range of contexts, including particular social and cultural contexts that may appeal to many learners for whom mainstream options have not succeeded; and the ability to provide education in locations where other providers are not operating.

You are core – and proven – providers of many of the vocational and foundation skills that New Zealanders will need in the 21st century.

THE TERTIARY EDUCATION REFORMS

As you are all no doubt aware, we recently released a landmark Tertiary Education Strategy that sets out our goals for tertiary education.

The PTE sector has a big role in helping implement strategy 3 of the Strategy, which relates to “raising foundation skills New Zealanders need for our knowledge society”. PTEs will also make a significant contribution to other strategies such as those relating to education for Maori and Pacific peoples, and the skills New Zealanders need for a knowledge society.

The thrust of our recent reforms to the tertiary education sector is to harness this important contribution in ways that complement, rather than compete with, public tertiary education institutions.

The vision set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy is clear. Future funded growth in PTEs, as in all tertiary education, needs to be closely aligned with our broader goals for economic and social development. This will help us achieve our goal of lifting system quality, relevance and cost effectiveness.

THE NEW FUNDING ENVIRONMENT

One of the key building blocks of the new system is an integrated funding framework. Our recent Budget announced a ring-fenced allocation of $146 million for the PTE sector within the Student Component.

Within this overall fund, we have created a strategic priorities fund of at least $17 million to be allocated to approved PTEs. We will be looking favourably at providers offering qualifications in priority areas of tertiary education and training consistent with, and best aligned to, our Strategy. We intend to move to a point where all of the $146 million is allocated in a way similar to this.

PTEs also play a big role in foundation and pre-employment education – areas that are a priority for this government. Four fifths of Skill New Zealand purchasing in these programmes comes from the PTE sector.

In 2001-02, PTEs received some $135 million from Skill New Zealand for Training Opportunities, Youth Training and Skill Enhancement programmes. This funding is not affected by the changes to Student Component PTE funding, and this level of funding for these programmes is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

Both Industry Training and Modern Apprenticeships are set to expand considerably over the medium term. PTEs are expected to continue to play an important role in these initiatives.

CONNECTEDNESS AND DIFFERENTIATION

A key theme of the Tertiary Education Strategy is “connectedness”. This is summed up in Chapter 4 of the strategy, which about “The Change in Focus”.

PTEs, like other tertiary education organisations will need stronger linkages with business and other external stakeholders, effective partnership arrangements with Maori communities, and increased responsiveness to the needs of learners.

The Strategy also calls for greater collaboration and rationalisation within the system.

It is clear the Career Colleges’ Association doesn’t merely understand and accept the need for connectedness; more than that, it is one of the founding principles of your organisation.

You see effective links with relevant industry and community stakeholders as one of the defining characteristics of your membership. And you have dedicated yourselves to self-regulation, sharing best practices and working together to improve key outcomes.

I am also encouraged by your commitment to work in ways that avoid unnecessary duplication. This is important in order for tertiary education organisations to work cooperatively together as a system. All organisations need to be clear about their specialties and the ways that they are differentiated from one another.

In this regard, CCA’s ‘rule’ around non-competitive membership is a unique and welcome innovation. Your members each agree to broad areas of coverage and are required to seek group approval for any changes to that profile.

WORKING TOGETHER

I encourage you, and all PTEs, to get organised around the aims and objectives of the Tertiary Education Strategy; work with other parts of the sector to complement each other’s strengths. We want to arrive at a point where the whole sector is working together as one, but each with different roles.

I’m pleased to note the presence of the Industry Training Organisations from the industries your members service here today, and I understand that you aim to work closely with your sister PTE organisation, the Association of Independent Degree-granting Institutes.

I encourage you also to reach out to complementary public institutions, and I encourage those institutions to reciprocate.

I want to acknowledge the representatives of the Tertiary Education Commission, in its transition form, who are here today. As you may know, we intend to proceed with the next stage of the Tertiary Education Reform Bill in Parliament next week in order to formally establish the Commission at the beginning of December.

I know that the Commission will welcome your stated intention to work constructively with government agencies, and will look forward to developing a relationship with you.

CONCLUSION

The Career Colleges’ Association is the first new grouping of tertiary education organisations to be formed since the elements to the tertiary education reforms were decided upon. (It is perhaps fitting that you are also starting out shortly before those reforms are formalised by the passage of legislation.)

It’s clear from what has been said here today that, as a result, you represent a new breed of tertiary education association. The life-blood of the reforms flows through your veins, so to speak, and the aims of the reforms are reflected in your founding principles.

It is through the efforts of the providers that make up CCA – and other providers and ITOs who share the same outlook – that the aspirations for a new strategic tertiary education system will be turned into reality.

It is my privilege to officially launch “a new PTE organisation”, the Career Colleges’ Association.

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