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Select Committee Reports Back on Education Amendment Bill

Select Committee Reports Back on Education Amendment Bill (No 2)

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Education Minister Hekia Parata today welcomed the report back on the Education Amendment Bill (No 2).

“The report back, by majority, was completed by the Education and Science Committee, which carefully considered the many submissions received from individuals and organisations,” Ms Parata says.

“As a result, a small number of changes to the Bill have been recommended to help further clarify the intent of the Bill and the functions of the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ).

“Most significantly, the committee has recommended that the membership of the governing Council of EDUCANZ must include at least five persons who are registered teachers who hold a current practising certificate.

“I am very supportive of this recommendation as it clarifies the intent of the Bill that the governing Council will have a strong core of teaching experience, as well as leadership, financial management, and governance skills. It also illustrates that the Committee has listened closely to the concerns of the sector.

“Teaching needs a strong professional body that provides leadership to, and is owned by the profession. As an independent statutory body, EDUCANZ will use its skills, expertise and authority to provide important leadership and regulation for the teaching profession,” Ms Parata says.

The Bill also proposes a number of legislative changes aimed at modernising governance arrangements for universities and wānanga; strengthening the code of practice for the pastoral care of international students, and introducing a contract disputes resolution scheme for international students and their education providers; and strengthening quality assurance arrangements in the tertiary education sector.

“Other than a few minor technical amendments, the majority of the Committee has recommended that the proposed changes to university and wānanga governance settings proceed as drafted,” Mr Joyce says.

“We want to make sure that university and wānanga councils are able to respond quickly and effectively to the various strategic challenges facing the tertiary education sector. Smaller, skills-based councils will better enable them to do this.

“The changes will give universities and wānanga more flexibility to reflect their unique stakeholders on their councils and tailor their councils to their specific needs.”

The changes will not affect institutional autonomy or academic freedom, which are guaranteed by section 161 of the Education Act 1989, nor will they lead to more Ministerial control over councils as some submitters claimed.

The Committee has also made only a minor change to the part of the Bill concerning the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. The Committee has not recommended any amendments to the Bill’s quality assurance provisions.

Now that the Bill has been reported back, it will move to a second reading in Parliament. For more information about the Bill, visit: www.minedu.govt.nz/EducationAmendmentBill


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