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Proposed priorities for tertiary education

28 September 2004

Skill shortages and effective teaching proposed priorities for tertiary education

Tackling skill shortages and promoting excellence in teaching are two of the top priorities for tertiary education in a discussion paper released today by Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey.

The government is inviting comment on its priorities for the tertiary education system to 2007 through the discussion paper. This will lead to a formal Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities being tabled in Parliament before the end of the year.

Speaking at the 2004 Conference of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education, Steve Maharey said that the discussion document would give students, industry and the wider community the clearest indication yet of what the tertiary education sector would be working towards over the next few years.

“Matching learning to areas of skill shortage will be a big priority for us, as the Skills Package released earlier today has already shown. We want to see the sector providing for the technical and trades skills vital for New Zealand’s economic success.

“We’re also proposing to focus on identifying and meeting the needs of the teaching and health workforces. While these areas will play a more important role in the tertiary education system, we are committed to maintaining a broad range of areas of study.

“We are committed to excellence throughout the system. The discussion paper signals a greater drive to support effective teaching. It also suggests that tertiary educators should focus more on ensuring that learners are well supported to help more people to complete their qualifications.

“Other priorities on which we are seeking comment include: lifting literacy and numeracy levels; developing skills that will help Maori get the most of their assets; and building research capability in strategic areas.

“Copies of the discussion document are available on the Ministry of Education website (www.minedu.govt.nz). We would like responses by the end of October to allow the finalised Statement to be issued in time for the 2005 academic year.”

ENDS

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