Government responds to tertiary education report

  • Paul Goldsmith
  • Steven Joyce
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Finance

Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Paul Goldsmith have today released the Government’s response to the most extensive review of tertiary education in more than a decade, and outlined its plan for delivering a responsive, innovative, and effective tertiary education system.

“The Productivity Commission released New Models of Tertiary Education in March, providing the Government with an opportunity to set out a clear vision and the future direction for tertiary education at a time of rapid job creation, where the demand for skills has seldom been higher,” Mr Joyce says.

The Government’s response signals areas for immediate action, as well as the proposed direction for future work.

“While New Zealand has a high performing tertiary education system, the Commission has identified some areas that can prevent the system innovating and responding to the evolving needs of New Zealand and New Zealanders,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Over the next year, we will work with the sector as we begin to identify how to deliver some of the recommendations. We will also begin consulting with stakeholders later this year as we work to develop a new Tertiary Education Strategy in 2018.”

The work programme will focus on four key areas.

  • Creating a more student-centred system: Providing students with the right information to make good decisions about their education, and move easily through education and between education and employment.
  • Meeting the needs of industry through relevant, responsive, and supportive teaching: Supporting education organisations to offer relevant, high-quality education so graduates have the skills they need to find and maintain sustainable employment.
  • Improving performance across the system: Ensuring that government policy supports providers and government agencies to adapt and respond quickly and effectively to the needs and demands of students, employers, industry and wider society.
  • Enabling and encouraging innovative new models and providers: We want to ensure that the system is open to new and innovative ideas, and able to experiment, so that it delivers the best possible outcomes for New Zealand.

“The Government also made it clear early on that it would not be accepting the Commission’s recommendation to reinstate interest on student loans. That position has not changed now that we have identified our approach to all 49 of the recommendations,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“This is an opportunity for everyone involved with tertiary education to help shape and safeguard its future. I look forward to engaging with business, stakeholders, students, and the public to achieve a positive outcome for New Zealand.”

The Government’s formal response to the Productivity Commission’s report New Models of Tertiary Education can be found HERE.