Information Sheet

  • Wyatt Creech

Tertiary Education Review White Paper

The Challenge Ahead for Tertiary Education

New Zealand's tertiary education system will face important challenges in the years ahead:

Everyone ' school leavers and adults alike ' will need to study at tertiary level, often at
several times in their lives Higher level knowledge and learning will become more important in achieving career and
economic success New Zealand to be competitive as a nation, our tertiary education system must keep up
with rising international standards

Tertiary Review Reforms

Tertiary Review reforms are aimed at meeting these challenges. For students and the public, the
reforms are designed to deliver:

Better Opportunities: Everyone should be able to access quality tertiary education,
whatever their needs and wherever they choose to study.
A fairer system: The system should be fair to all tertiary students and providers,
recognising the full diversity of tertiary learning needs and courses on offer.
Better quality: All taxpayer-subsidised qualifications, teaching and research should meet
quality tests in which the public can have confidence.
Well-run public tertiary institutions: Public institutions should be effectively managed,
efficiently run and provide high quality education.

Key Decisions

Improving Opportunities, Creating Fairness

The Universal Tertiary Tuition Allowance will be introduced ' from 1999, all domestic students on approved programmes will be able to access Government subsidies No change in the current level of funding for tertiary education is expected for the next
three years Higher cost courses will continue to be subsidised at higher rates Actual (instead of estimated) enrolments will trigger subsidy payments, thereby improving rewards to successful providers Students taking courses at private providers will be able to access subsidies on the same terms and conditions as TEI students Study Right will be phased out so that students will receive the same subsidy regardless of their age Base grants will continue for now but may be phased out over the longer term A variable tuition subsidy regime will be introduced whereby subsidies are adjusted according to the assets at each institution to ensure that all public resources are used wisely and distributed evenly across the sector ' capital poor institutions will receive higher subsidies Current ranges of total assets per EFTS are as follows:
universities $23,092 - $39,074;
polytechnics $5,596 - $23,810;
colleges of education $20,327 - $26,645;
wananga $1,874 - $5,072

Improving Quality

All qualifications and providers will need to meet quality assurance and financial viability criteria to be eligible for Government subsidies
A new body, the Quality Assurance Authority of New Zealand, will be established to oversee the quality assurance of all publicly funded tertiary education, to ensure that quality assurance is rigorous
Initially, recognised quality validation processes will be those run by the New Zealand
Qualifications Authority, the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee, and the Association of Polytechnics of New Zealand

Assuring the quality of tertiary education

Current restrictions on the use of protected terms (such as 'degree' and 'university') will be retained, and 'Institute of Technology' protected as a synonym for 'polytechnic' Providers will be able to use more than one protected term (such as 'university' and 'polytechnic')

Improving Research Quality

Research will remain a requirement for degree-level teaching
A $20 million contestable pool will be established out of current postgraduate funding to target programmes selected according to:
quality and capacity of researchers
quality of the proposed research portfolio
strategic focus of the research
cost effectiveness of the research

The remainder (approx. $80 million) will be allocated to quality assured degrees and postgraduate programmes via top-ups to tuition subsidies:
undergraduate degree: $500
'taught' postgraduate $2,400
'research' postgraduate $3,800
Funding and legislative requirements for research will be reviewed in 2001 with a view to transferring a further $60 million to the contestable pool

Improving Tertiary Information

A new integrated student data management system will mean 'once only' collection by different education agencies
Improved information about quality assured qualifications and providers, as well as aggregated information on sector trends, will be publicly available to assist both students' and providers' decisions

Ensuring Tertiary Institutions Are Well Run

Tertiary institutions will remain public bodies
Academic freedom will continue to be protected
The Councils of public tertiary institutions will have more flexibility to determine their size, composition, selection procedures, etc. rather than 'one size fits all'
Councils will be smaller, expertise-based and include students and academic staff
Councils will be required to focus more on the educational success and long term viability of their institutions
Councils will be held more responsible for ensuring that their institutions are well run, and annual Statements of Intent will be required
Well-run institutions will have more autonomy to manage themselves; others will be more closely monitored to ensure that they don't get into difficulty
Assets vested in the Crown will be transferred to institutions