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Charters will ‘open up’ tertiary education sector

29 May 2003 Media Statement

Charters will "open up' tertiary education sector

The publication today of the criteria for tertiary education organisation charters marks an important milestone in the tertiary education reforms becoming a reality, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Under legislation passed last year, all tertiary education organisations that seek government funding must have an approved charter by 1 January 2004 setting out its special mission and role in overall tertiary education system. This applies to universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, wananga, industry training organisations, private training establishments and adult and community education providers. Charters must be submitted to the Tertiary Education Commission by 30 September 2003.

Steve Maharey said that the tertiary education sector and its stakeholders need to carefully focus on the development of the charters as they will be in place for the medium- to long-term and are crucial to the achievement of a strategically-aligned system.

"Charters and Profiles are two tools that will help bring the Tertiary Education Strategy alive, and bring about medium and long-term change in the tertiary education system.

"Developing these initial charters is a crucial task not only for the organisations themselves, including their staff, but also for the students, industries, communities and iwi that they serve.

"The first step of the charter process is the identification of stakeholders and it is crucially important that stakeholders tale an active role in ensuring that their needs and aspirations are appropriately reflected in the charters.

"The reforms are about getting the tertiary education sector more connected to the wider society, and this is a two-way process. We need all stakeholders to get involved.

"The Charter assessment criteria are designed to be transparent, easily understood and able to recognise the different sizes and shapes of our tertiary education

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organisations. The criteria were designed following consideration of the report of a sector-wide Charters and Profile Working Party chaired by Tertiary Education Commission Deputy Chair Kaye Turner," Steve Maharey said.

The Tertiary Education Commission will distribute guidelines for tertiary education organisations on the development of their charters in June.



- Charter Content and Assessment Criteria

- the Education (Charters for Tertiary Education Organisations) Notice 2003

Charter Content and Assessment Criteria

Charter Content

- Mission.

- Special character.

- Contribution to New Zealand's identity and economic, social and cultural development.

- Contribution to the tertiary education system as a whole.

- Approach to collaboration and co-operation with other tertiary education providers and organisations.

- Approach to fulfilling Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

- Approach to meeting the needs of Pacific people.

- Approach to meeting the educational needs of learners.

- Approach to ensuring that the organisation develops and supports a staff profile that reflects its mission and special character.

- Governance and management structure and principles.

- Consultation undertaken in preparation of the Charter.

Charter Assessment Criteria

- The TEO's Charter has been the product of a robust and comprehensive strategic planning process and, in particular in preparing its Charter, the TEO has identified:

- its current and future student profile;

- the medium to long term economic, demographic and other trends likely to impact on the educational needs of its learners and other stakeholders;

- the medium to long term challenges and opportunities facing the TEO, including the risks posed to its capability; and

- how the TEO will respond to its environmental assessment, including the capability development required to achieve its strategic outcomes.

- The number and nature of parties that the TEO identifies as its stakeholders are appropriate to the TEO's portfolio, size, location, mission and type.

- The TEO has raised the awareness of its stakeholders about consultation on its draft Charter, including informing its stakeholders of:

- what a Charter is and why consultation with stakeholders is beneficial;

- their opportunity to have other factors reflected in the Charter;

- what they can expect from being consulted; and

- its consultation process.

- The TEO's consultation process has adequately provided opportunities for its stakeholders to comment on the draft Charter and to seek amendment to it and, if applicable, the TEO has consulted with any person or group that the Minister requires to be consulted.

- Following consultation, the TEO has modified, as appropriate, its Charter to reflect the concerns of its stakeholders and has informed them of the outcome of the consultation.

- The process of consultation that the TEO undertook is likely to have contributed to improving the performance of the TEO at the level of strategic planning and oversight.

- The TEO has adequately defined its mission and special character so that it can be used as the basis for its profile development and for ongoing discussions with the Tertiary Education Commission.

- The TEO demonstrates that it has the capability or has development plans in place to give effect to its mission and special character.

- The TEO outlines its core set of strategic outcomes and the strategic targets and/or benchmarks that it will use to indicate success.

- The TEO demonstrates that its mission, special character and strategic outcomes will contribute to the TES and other of the Government's national strategies.

- The TEO's Charter articulates a strategic positioning that is selective, focused and clearly differentiates it from other comparable TEOs at a local, regional or national level as appropriate, and complements and reinforces other activity in the tertiary system.

- The TEO takes an active approach to collaboration and co-operation with other TEOs where this will increase its contribution to the TES.

- The TEO demonstrates that its strategic outcomes and special character reflect the interests and educational needs of its learners and other communities of interest that the TEO serves, including the needs of Pacific people.

- The TEO has identified and is acting on its responsibilities to Maori both as treaty partners and as an important stakeholder of the TEO.

- The TEO governance and management arrangements are appropriate to achieving the TEO's strategic outcomes.

Organisations exempted from Charter requirements

Steve Maharey also announced that a small group of organisations that receive funding from the Tertiary Education Commission will be exempt from Charters.

They are:

- Secondary schools (for 2004 only);

- employers offering small amounts of work based training on a one-off or occasional basis and who receive up to $10,000.00 of funding from the TEC in any one year;

- community groups which have adult community education as a part of their function, and which receive grants of less than $10,000.00 in any one year; and

- organisations with whom the TEC is currently contracting only pilot initiatives.

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