Bureaucratic tertiary funding model scrapped

The widely disliked process of competitive funding for some areas of tertiary education will be stopped, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said today.

Mr Hipkins made the announcement at a Vocational Education and Training Forum in Auckland this morning.

“The competitive model is another failed ideological experiment of the previous National Government,” Mr Hipkins said.

“It forced tertiary education providers to bid against each other for a share of funding across two competitive processes and created needless instability in the sector.”

 “We don’t do competitive funding for schools or university degrees, so why would we do it for non-degree tertiary study?” 

Mr Hipkins said the Government will end competitive allocations of funding at New Zealand Qualification Framework levels 1 to 4, to give providers greater funding certainty, and so they can focus more on the students.

“From 2019, the up to $135 million of funding will return to being on the basis of student enrolments.

“It removes uncertainty and will enable providers to properly plan and develop programmes, build tutor capacity and focus on what they do best – improving the quality of outcomes for New Zealand’s learners.

“This is another strong sign of this government’s commitment to a more collaborative approach to tertiary education.

“We are developing a genuine network of provision, funded through Investment Plans that are developed, consulted and negotiated with tertiary providers. This will ensure we better meet the needs of our regions’ learners and employers in a rapidly changing world.” Mr Hipkins said.

The change affects all Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding at levels 1 and 2, as well as funding at levels 3 and 4 for courses focusing on agriculture, horticulture and viticulture.

Funding from 2019 will now be allocated by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) through the 2018 Investment Plan process.

The TEC and the Ministry of Education are working on transition arrangements, which will be confirmed following Budget 2018. This will assist providers when they develop their Investment Plans for 2019-2020 funding, Mr Hipkins said.