The Tertiary Education Commission has published its investment plan guidance for institutions in 2013. The investment guidelines tell institutions what areas they need to focus on to attract funding from the commission.
The commission will require institutions to make changes in eight areas to attract funding for next year. Those areas include making a bigger and clearer economic contribution to society; more learners engaged in study towards science, technology, engineering or mathematics qualifications; improved efficiency; better outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners; more published information for learners; pathways and transitions; literacy, language and numeracy (LLN); and international export education.
TEU national president Dr Sandra Grey says the guidelines offer a more nuanced and holistic view of the government’s direction for tertiary education than the minister or officials from Treasury or the Ministry of Education have so far outlined.
“It is heartening, for instance, to see the commission highlighting the need for a greater focus on Māori and Pacific learners, and on the need to improve pathways and transitions for secondary school leavers. While many institutions individually are doing good work on those two issues at a policy and funding level, we have been moving in the wrong direction in recent years.”
“But continued focus on driving institutions to do the same amount of work for less money, to compete for external funding streams such as the money brought in by international students and to focus increasingly on the needs of business at the expense of the rest of the community is hurting the sector.”
Furthermore, the government seems determined to ‘pick winners’. Last year its pet favourite was trades education. This year trades gets barely a mention except in the context of the commission’s plan for Canterbury, because the new pet is science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Next year it will probably be American studies or theatre and film?”