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Maharey outlines government’s Charter expectations

1 July 2003 Media Statement

Maharey outlines government’s Charter expectations

The government expects tertiary education organisations to clearly set out their special character and mission in charters currently being written, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The Education (Tertiary Reform) Amendment Act 2002 introduces a system of charters and profiles for all tertiary education organisations (TEOs) receiving public funding. Tertiary education organisations have until 30 September 2003 to submit draft charters to the Tertiary Education Commission for consideration. In order to receive public funding from 1 January 2004 each organisation must have its charter approved by the Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister by the end of the year.

Speaking at the Association of Tertiary Education Managers conference in Auckland this morning, Steve Maharey said the process of drawing up charters is one of the most important tasks to bed in the tertiary education reforms.

“Charters, along with profiles, are the tools that will bring the Tertiary Education Strategy alive, and bring about much needed change in the tertiary education system.

“Charters are fundamental documents for TEOs and they will take time, consultation and several iterations to get right. They are the only documents that directly connect me as responsible Minister with individual TEOs. I will want to be sure that they make a genuine contribution to building a more quality and stakeholder-focused tertiary education system, able to meet New Zealand’s knowledge and research needs.

“In particular I will be looking to see how the draft charters:
- outline the mission and special character of individual TEOs. The government is consciously building a specialised and differentiated tertiary education system and charters should define what individual contribution TEOs will make within the overall nationwide system of tertiary education;
- describe how individual TEOs will make a contribution to New Zealand’s identity and economic, social and cultural development; and
- identify how individual TEOs intend collaborating and cooperating with other TEOs. The days of rampant destructive competition in the tertiary education sector is over and charters have an important role in defining how TEOs will work together to improve quality, enhance access and respond to emerging knowledge and skill needs.

“Some TEOs have already been thinking about where the want to position themselves in the new system. A good example is Victoria University of Wellington who are positioning themselves as ‘the capital university’ and are identifying the special nature and implications of being solely located in the nation’s capital for their research and teaching programmes.

“The tertiary education reforms are a critical element of the government’s mission to transform New Zealand into a knowledge-based society. Charters must concretely ensure that TEOs help us to make this vision a reality,” Steve Maharey said.

The guidelines to help tertiary education organisations develop the their charters are available online at

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