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Labour's shift to lifting tertiary quality

1 September 2005

Labour's shift to lifting tertiary quality continues

Labour will significantly lift funding for tertiary level research, and shift away from the 'bums on seats' competitive funding approach, to focus on quality and collaboration between tertiary providers, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"Labour is committed to a quality tertiary education and training system that will support New Zealand's economic and social development. We want a system that ensures tertiary education is focused on quality and relevance - for students, communities and employers," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Labour-led government has already taken significant steps to shift funding away from high-quantity low-quality courses to tertiary education that has demonstrable value, and we have stated our commitment to support regional tertiary provision as funding moves to high quality provision.

"In our next term in government, Labour will continue to invest in world class research through the Performance Based Research Fund, lifting the total value of the fund to $250 million per year by 2010.

"Leading up to 2010, new projections of degree and post-graduate student numbers show that the existing PBRF pool will grow to over $112 million (excluding GST) in 2006, $188.7 million will be available in 2007 and $200.5 million in 2008. "Cumulatively, over the years 2005 to 2008, that’s over $160 million more for research.

"We will also give increased support for Centres of Research Excellence beyond 2008/09, when funding for the current seven centres will be reviewed. Centres that lose funding after this will have a three-year phase down to give them more certainty in planning now."

Other aspects of Labour's tertiary policy include: Ensure that degrees are taught mainly by people actively engaged in research Review the funding model for certificate and diploma level tertiary provision to ensure that a strong network of viable regional polytechnics is maintained.

Review long-term funding arrangements for all other tertiary education to ensure that tertiary education providers are better rewarded for quality provision rather than quantity of provision. Strengthen the emphasis on retention and completions in accountability and funding arrangements.

ENDS

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