Minister calls for market-driven education

Posted By TEU on May 7, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12, Number 13

“High on our agenda is simplifying the funding system and lowering compliance costs.  We also want less central planning – in other words, the needs of students and the economy should drive the provision of tertiary education.”

Those were the thoughts of minister of education, Anne Tolley, in a speech last week at the New Zealand Tertiary Education Summit. The summit, which many in the sector did not hear about until after it was reported in the media, gave some indication of the new government’s thinking around tertiary education ahead of this month’s budget.

On the question of the EFTS cap funding shortfall, which appears to have grown in many tertiary institutions following significant roll growth this year, Mrs Tolley signalled that the government intends to limit its fiscal liabilities:

“I know that the question on everyone’s lips will be whether there is going to be additional funding available to ease some of those enrolment pressures. I’m not going to talk about what’s in the Budget today, but what I can tell you is that, while we do appreciate the issue, right now is a time when our imperative has to be to constrain overall Government costs.”

Meanwhile, after earlier in the same speech having called for less central planning and lower compliance costs, Mrs. Tolley also stated her desire for a higher level of publicly available reporting on tertiary education institution performances.

“We need meaningful and robust public reporting.  A current example is a comprehensive, aggregate report on tertiary sector performance that sets out full-year 2008 progress of publicly-funded tertiary education providers against quantitative performance indicators, which cover student enrolments, retention and completions.”

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  3. Govt pulls plug on Otago design school
  4. Parents return to work for less money
  5. Scientists concerned about free speech
  6. News from Australia

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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