Staff and students reject job outcome reports

Posted By TEU on Oct 1, 2015 |

Tertiary Update Vol 18 No 32

The government is under attack from students, institutions and TEU for its plan to make universities and polytechnics report on former students’ job and income outcomes.

TEU warned, in a written statement earlier this week, that such reporting will end up distorting the way educators do their job.

“It risks favouring people who teach short-term skills to get their students into immediate but temporary jobs over those who teach the less immediate but more enduring trades, skills and knowledge.”

Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce had earlier told all polytechnics, wānanga and universities that they will be required, in two years’ time, to publish information about the employment status and earnings of their graduates, broken down course by course.

The University of Otago’s acting student president Isaac Yu responded telling the Otago Daily Times the proposal is ”fundamentally flawed and dangerous for the future of the tertiary sector”

Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker told the paper the government did not have good methodologies in place to collect meaningful data.

“At best, we will have a crude measure of provider effectiveness, and it will remain to be seen if the powers that be have the maturity to interpret the measures in an unbiased and useful way,” he said.

Radio New Zealand reported that the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities met last week to discuss its concerns about the plan, and is planning its next move to try and convince the government to rethink.

Massey University’s Professor Richard Shaw told Radio New Zealand that the majority of graduates will go into jobs that do not exist at the moment, and so the data risks being both meaningless and misleading.

“Part of the problem with league tables is that they decontextualise information. So you can draw a straight line between University X and Employer Y, but that doesn’t tell you why that person got that job. There might be all kinds of variables, none of which are within the control of the university,” Shaw told Radio New Zealand.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Student expenses outstrip loans
  2. TEU supports climate march
  3. Staff and students oppose Israeli soldiers’ lecture
  4. TPPA secrecy case under way

Other news

SeniorNet is vowing to keep its service operating despite a $400,000 funding cut to its IT courses. SeniorNet runs computer and online skills throughout the country for people over 50, but the Tertiary Education Commission has declined funding for 2016 – Otago Daily Times

Former AgResearch scientist Doug Edmeades said the recent redundancies highlighted the instability of the current science funding system where decisions appeared to be based on the political mood of the day. Government funding of agricultural research had dropped from $140 million in 1990 to about $40 million – Stuff

New models of initial teacher education (ITE) are putting increasing demands on schools. New models of ITE are making much bigger workload demands on schools and the courses have become shorter, with questions arising around quality and depth – PPTA

Are international students satisfied with their New Zealand study experience? Education NZ commissioned a survey of international students at universities and polytechnics to investigate the decision-making, expectations, perceptions and experiences of international students – Education New Zealand

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