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Maharey hails milestone tertiary education reform

3 December 2001 Media Statement

Maharey hails milestone tertiary education reform legislation

Legislation to significantly reshape New Zealand’s tertiary education system was tabled in Parliament today.

The Tertiary Education Reform Bill sets up a new permanent Crown entity – the Tertiary Education Commission – to improve the quality, relevance and, following a comprehensive review of the industry training system which reported to government earlier this year, amends the Industry Training Act.

Speaking at the Association of University Staff annual conference today, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said the Bill is a key milestone in the Government’s programme to transform the tertiary education sector to meet the needs of learners and employers for the knowledge society.

“New Zealand needs a tertiary system that provides leadership to enable us to increase our economic, social and cultural wealth.

“The Bill establishes the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), a dedicated Crown Entity that will work with providers and stakeholders to substantially increase the contribution of the tertiary sector to the nation’s economic and social development.

“The Tertiary Education Commission will bring about a reformed strategic direction for the tertiary education system as a whole. The commission will deal with the full breadth of the tertiary education sector and reflect its diversity both in its structure and its operating practice.

“The Commission will be empowered to make funding and other decisions by reference to an agreed Tertiary Education Strategy which sets out clearly how our economy and society are expected to develop and the contribution that will be required from providers of education and training right across the tertiary sector. The Government will release this month a draft version of the Tertiary Education Strategy for public consultation.

“This strategy will be reflected in strengthened provider and Industry Training Organisations charters. The Tertiary Education Commission will negotiate teaching and research profiles with providers and ITOs to spell out the unique contribution each will make to fulfil the goals of the Tertiary Education Strategy.

“To be effective, the tertiary education reforms need to be supported by an effective quality assurance system. The bill strengthens the quality assurance by allowing NZQA to institute more effective early intervention processes to better ensure the quality of tertiary education provision.

“The reforms ushered in by the Bill will bring about a more integrated tertiary sector, enable greater co-operation and collaboration amongst providers and ITOs and much stronger alignment with New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural development.

“After its first reading the bill will be referred to the Education and Science Select Committee for their consideration,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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