The Tertiary Education Commission has published a new strategy for improving Pasifika outcomes in tertiary education.
The strategy includes a raft of new indicators to assess progress for Pasifika, including targets to improve participation at all levels, particularly in areas with strong labour market and employment outcomes.
There is also a specific target to reduce investment in low performing provision by applying the new employment outcomes requirement.
Sandra Grey, National President of the TEU, said there were serious misgivings about the setting of targets, particularly when they are not backed up with adequate funding.
“We support the principles underpinning the strategy, but we need much more than a plan that’s based on counting and measuring. In the past, some tertiary institutions have taken a questionable approach to meeting targets, the ultimate loser from which is always the student. What we want to see is some serious action being taken and support provided to improve Pasifika outcomes. Setting a target and sitting back while institutions come up will all sorts of creative ways to meet it is not enough.”
Under the strategy, tertiary education organisations in the largest Pasifika catchment areas will also be required to develop plans for supporting Pasifika. The TEC itself said it would deliver a number of public awareness initiatives that will rely on community groups and families to deliver.