Vice-chancellors told to pay for quality assurance

Posted By TEU on Oct 22, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 36

An independent review of the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit (AAU) recommends that the Unit have greater independence from the New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC).

The Board of the AAU has just released the report based on external evaluation it commissioned.”  The review panel found that it is possible for the Unit’s owner body, the NZVCC to exercise undue influence on the Unit. The panel’s view is that there is a need for NZVCC and the Unit to discuss ways whereby the real and perceived independence of the Unit can be strengthened.

The panel also found that the unit was not resourced or staffed sufficiently to achieve its objectives and that a significant increase in funding is required to enable the NZVCC to meet its statutory obligations in regard to quality assurance.

The panel noted that overall the unit has done well to fulfil its terms of reference, conduct several rounds of audit cycles and enhance universities’ quality assurance arrangement, especially given it employs only one professional staff member to undertake these duties.

Retiring director of the Unit, John Jennings says:

“The report is forward looking and provides recommendations and guidance for the Board in its own preparation of the Unit for an enhanced future role in a demanding educational, social and political environment.”

The Board has informed the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee of its positive response to the report, and has proposed a timetable for action.”  At present, the Unit is in the process of appointing a new director to replace Mr Jennings, whose job it will be to address and progress those recommendations of the report.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Prime Minister defends ACC changes
  2. PBRF creates race to stand still
  3. Five new trades academies with more to come
  4. Māori lecturer in international Hall of Fame
  5. 53,000 petition for adult and community ed
  6. Robin Hood rises again

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:

Thanks to Adam Mulligan @ Flickr for the photo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email