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Dr Andrew West: Release on Tertiary Education Com

Dr Andrew West

The Tertiary Education Commission Promises Decisive Action

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will act decisively to bring the vision contained in the Tertiary Education Strategy to fruition, says the Chair, Dr Andrew West.

Dr West, the former Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and a leader in the government’s science reforms, said there would be close collaboration with the sector in implementing the Tertiary Education Strategy.

“The Tertiary Education Strategy provides the nation with a clear vision of what it is the education sector needs to contribute over the next five years to make New Zealand a better place to live. The Tertiary Education Commission has an important role in making sure that this vision becomes a reality.

“There is a lot at stake for New Zealand. Our nation’s prosperity and its very democracy are built on an educated, knowledgeable citizenry. We need the right skills, in the right place at the right time. This new Commission will help meet the learning needs of all New Zealanders. We will stress relevance, excellence and access. We will encourage stronger links between educational organsations, industries, enterprises and communities. We will help greatly expand the links between schools and tertiary education organisations. And we will focus strongly on an expansion of higher level skills in the Mäori community, as well as for Pacific peoples. These developments are essential if we are to give substance to the aim of becoming a truly knowledgeable, equitable society.”

The Tertiary Education Strategy is the Government’s five-year blueprint for a more collaborative tertiary system that better meets national goals and that is closely connected to enterprise and local communities. The TEC is responsible for leading the implementation of the strategy and, in so doing, allocating $1.9 billion of Government funds for tertiary education each year.

All forms of post-school education and training come under the TEC umbrella. The TEC will fund all post-compulsory education and training offered by universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, wänanga, private training providers, foundation education organisations, industry training organisations and adult and community education providers.

The Tertiary Education Commission has assumed the responsibilities and functions of the Transition Tertiary Education Commission, Skill New Zealand and Tertiary Resourcing from the Ministry of Education. It comprises a team of eight Commissioners and a staff of 250 who bring a wide range of experience and involvement in education, training and the application of skills. The TEC has a national office in Wellington and a network of 11 regional offices.

“We’ll be looking to raise the capacity and performance of the tertiary education sector as an integrated system, from foundation education to sophisticated research and scholarship. We’ll be working with the sector to achieve greater alignment with national goals, both social and economic.”

“A lot of progress has already been made against the Government’s vision and strategy. That progress will now accelerate.”

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