INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tertiary Strategy To Be Key Tool

Published: Thu 13 Dec 2001 03:22 PM
Tertiary Strategy To Be Key Tool In Reformed System
New Zealand’s first ever strategy to explicitly connect learning and research in the tertiary education system with the nation’s economic and social development needs has been released in draft today.
The Draft Tertiary Education Strategy, 2002/07 sets a new direction and policy framework for New Zealand’s entire post-secondary school education and training system (comprising adult and community education, industry training, foundation education, tertiary education institutions and private training establishments). It ‘connects’ teaching and research by tertiary providers with New Zealand’s national development goals. When finalised following consultation, the Strategy will be used by the new Tertiary Education Commission to assist in setting funding priorities and reporting requirements.
Steve Maharey said New Zealand needs a tertiary system that is outwardly focused on the world, able to meet the nation’s future development needs and is distinctively ‘New Zealand’ in its style and tone.
“Our tertiary education system contains many talented people who have the skills and capabilities to make a major contribution to New Zealand’s economic and social development. However at present the system as a whole does not have the capability to deliver the lift in human capital development and research needed.
“We will not achieve our national development goals without strong links between the tertiary system and our society and economy.
“The Tertiary Education Strategy will be the process that will empower those outside the tertiary system to define their skill and knowledge needs. It is the key tool that will:
 achieve greater alignment between the outcomes of tertiary education and the achievement of national goals;
 enable tertiary education to be more quickly shaped by national directions and priorities;
 ensure learner needs are met, and there is continual improvement of quality; and, as a result of the above,
 improve the cost-effectiveness of the system and deliver an increased return on our nation’s $1.5 billion plus annual investment.
“The draft Strategy is being issued today for public consultation. It represents the government’s ‘first cut’ and ‘high level’ proposals on the priorities and strategies for the next five years. Submissions close on it on 28 February 2002. The finalised Strategy will be issued in April 2002.
“This will in turn lead to a Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities, an annual document provided for under the Tertiary Education Reform Bill now before Parliament. The Statement will provide the basis for the Tertiary Education Commission ro apply the new desirability test for funding.
“The government is very clear that it cannot develop effective policy in this area alone and we are seeking active engagement over the next few months to ensure that the finalised Strategy will achieve the changes our system needs,” Steve Maharey said.
Ends

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