Dr Sharp calls for more measurement and rankings

Posted By TEU on Sep 9, 2010 |

Tertiary Education Commission chief executive, Professor Roy Sharp, met with the TEU’s university and ITP sector groups last week to warn that the newly introduced student performance indicators are just the first of a range of accountability systems that tertiary institutions are likely to face.

Dr Sharp told the TEU groups that there are likely to be additional quality indicators introduced in the near future. In particular, he would like to see published data on student satisfaction and employment outcomes. However, he conceded that at present these two data sets are hard to measure accurately and fairly.

NZUSA, meanwhile, though cautious on the newly introduced league tables, seemed to support Dr Sharp’s call, with co-president Pene Delaney saying there are significant gaps in the data provided.

“Ranking in this manner doesn’t reflect what students can expect at a tertiary institution, as the numbers don’t demonstrate the whole picture. There is no reference to quality of teaching and learning, or to student satisfaction. The release of this information today should therefore only be considered a first step,” concluded Mr Delaney.

Dr Sharp also told the TEU that TEC is trying to change the way tertiary institutions operate within the capped funding system.

“The TEC’s current focus is on giving students good advice on where they should enrol and what they should do – and supporting them well, whatever that means. That’s what we are trying to get TEOs to focus on.”

Dr Sharp said that the government’s current priority was on younger people, because with them “the return is greater.”  However, he noted, “that does not mean that [older] people cannot upgrade their qualifications or get new skills.”

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