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Tertiary Education Commissioner farewelled

Foundation Tertiary Education Commissioner farewelled

The government is putting on record its thanks to the retiring chairperson of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Dr Andrew West, whose appointment as Chief Executive of Ag Research was announced today.

The TEC is responsible for allocating funding worth $2.2 billion annually and for tertiary education and research, industry training, training opportunities programmes and community education. It was established by the government to provide a clear strategic direction to the entire post-school education system and it ensure it fully contributes to New Zealand’s economic and social development.

Dr West was initially appointed to head up the Transition Tertiary Education Commission in 2001 and was later confirmed as chairperson of the inaugural Commission which was formally established on 1 January 2003. He completes work with the Commission on 16 April 2004.

Acting Minister Responsible for Tertiary Education Commission Margaret Wilson said Dr West had successfully managed the establishment phase of the Commission.

“Under Dr West’s leadership the TEC is achieving the government’s three tertiary education reform priorities of excellence, relevance and access. In its first full year of operation the TEC has: completed New Zealand’s first ever assessment of the research carried out in the tertiary education system and it will now use these results to support and encourage greater levels of excellence in research; negotiated new charters with more than 500 individual tertiary education organisations which help define their unique role and how they will become more closely connected to the needs of industry, the professions and wider society; and overseen the very rapid growth in industry training numbers, which last year involved 126,870 workers in on-the-job training, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year.

“Dr West leaves the Commission in a sound place and I wish him well for the future.

“Deputy TEC Chairperson Kaye Turner will become Acting Chairperson as the Commission continues with its work to implement the government’s tertiary education reforms,” Margaret Wilson said.

New CEO for AgResearch Thursday, March 25, 2004

Dr Andrew West has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of AgResearch. As the largest CRI, and acknowledged experts in biological science, AgResearch has a key role to play in boosting the productivity of our bio-dependent economy.

Dr West brings to the company key leadership qualities and is highly regarded as a strategic thinker. These are qualities the Board was actively seeking and is delighted to have confirmed with Dr West’s appointment.

Dr West, currently fulltime Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission, will take up the appointment in AgResearch’s Hamilton office on 3 May.

Dr West comes to AgResearch with an impressive record as a researcher and within science management, policy development and strategic planning.

In the early 1990s, he played a major role in the Government's science reforms, including the design and establishment of MoRST and FRST, CRIs and the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit (CCMAU). He was also Science Advisor to the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, working closely with the Hon Margaret Austin and the Rt Hon Simon Upton during the reforms.

When with Ernst & Young in 1995, he developed a sector-wide strategy for the New Zealand meat industry. In 1996, he went on to become company strategist for AgResearch where he helped establish the Foundation for Sheep Research. In the late 1990s, he was CEO of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd.

Dr West is currently Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission - which allocates $2.2 billion of government funding each year for tertiary education. From 2001 to 2002, he was CEO of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Dr West has a PhD and between 1982-1988 worked for DSIR researching the soil carbon cycle and soil erosion.

AgResearch Board Chairman Rick Christie said his Board was delighted to announce Dr West’s appointment. “AgResearch has a pivotal role in leading and contributing to NZ’s primary sector. In discussing this with Dr West, he is clearly looking forward to taking up his new role, and working closely with staff and management as they continue to take the company to new levels of scientific excellence and commercial success and, most importantly, strengthening AgResearch’s relationship with the pastoral farming sector.”

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