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The engine room of the knowledge society

The engine room of the knowledge society

Polytechnics and institutes of technology are the engine-rooms of the knowledge society, a role that can be properly acknowledged and resourced now that the government’s tertiary education reforms are in place, according to Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Steve Maharey spoke at a function in Wellington this evening to launch the sector charter and brand for New Zealand’s twenty polytechnics and institutes of technology.

Steve Maharey said the institutions have a clear niche in the new tertiary landscape.

“The government sees polytechnics and institutes of technology as the engine-room of the knowledge society and the powerhouse of skills development.

“At the centre of partnerships between business, regional economies and iwi, they are focused on ensuring New Zealanders have the skills industry needs to create a value-added economy.

“The sector charter launched this evening emphasises this role and marks it out as what makes polytechnics and institutes of technology distinctive from other tertiary providers.

“During the 1990s polytechnics were forced to refocus away from their traditional strengths to gain additional students because of government tertiary funding policies. Many were financially stressed by the end of the decade, some were insolvent. The new tertiary funding system allows the Tertiary Education Commission to properly recognise the costs of skilling the nation.

“I commend the Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand for the strong leadership it has provided to its members during the tertiary education reforms and for its real efforts to define a new and important role in the new system,” Steve Maharey said.

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