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Tertiary education legislation passes

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Tertiary Education
18 August 2011

Tertiary education legislation passes

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says new law passed today will introduce greater transparency in the setting of compulsory student services fees, boost New Zealand’s international education sector and safeguard standards in the tertiary sector.

“New Zealand has a tertiary education system to be proud of and I want to see that reputation enhanced, both here and overseas,” he says.

The Education Amendment Bill (No 4) also introduces provisions that will improve the transparency and accountability of compulsory student services fees. The bill gives the Minister the power to issue directions that will ensure students are adequately consulted on what fees are charged and how they are spent.

“Compulsory student services fees have increased significantly in the last few years, and I am sceptical that students have seen a corresponding increase in services. These changes will ensure students have a greater say in what these fees are used for,” says Mr Joyce.

The Bill also establishes Education New Zealand - a new crown agency to promote New Zealand as a destination for international students. The agency combines the international education functions of the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Education New Zealand Trust. International education is worth over $2 billion to the New Zealand economy.

“International education is a vital part of our economy and we want to see that grow even further. The new agency is a key part of achieving this,” says Mr Joyce

Further provisions will protect and enhance the reputation of New Zealand’s tertiary education system, by updating NZQA’s legislative framework and giving NZQA greater powers to manage Private Training Establishments.

“Many of the legislative provisions regarding the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s quality assurance system is more than 10 years old and no longer reflects the realities of the sector,” says Mr Joyce.

ENDS

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