Together we stopped the last government from further privatising oftertiary education. Now we need to keep working together to ensurelife-long learning is accessible to New Zealanders no matter where theylive, their past education or work experiences, or their learning needs.We hope you can take a few moments to help design the future of vocationaleducation provision in New Zealand.The Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, has proposed major changes forvocational education and training:

  • The establishment of a single New Zealand polytechnic with a plan toincrease the spaces in which teaching and learning occurs.
  • The return for industry training organisations to a core role of settingindustry standards for training and education, while polytechnic staffprovide teaching and learning in workplaces, online, and on campuses.
  • A unified vocational education funding system that would recognise thatone size does not fit all types of training or all places of whereeducation is provided.

It’s time to think big. Let the Minister know what you would put in placeto ensure that all students in New Zealand have access to quality,vocational education and training.Please make sure you go online and fill out the Tertiary EducationCommission survey or fill in the short feedback form focusing on the three main proposals which you email to [email protected]Submissions on the Reform of Vocational Education proposal are due on 5April.Here are a few ideas of what’s important to staff in the sector:

  • Public and community providers that have dual professionals in charge of teaching and learning are the appropriate place to meet the learning needs of all students – on-job, on-campus, and online.
  • We think that the new structure – whatever it will be – needs to be a Tiriti o Waitangi-led organisation. Tell the TEC what that looks like for you.
  • In order to ensure sound decision-making we should be setting out who should be on the regional leadership groups. Local industry representatives are in the plan already. What about staff and student voice? Or iwi voice? Set out your ideal group for making regional decisions.
  • We have always maintained staff voice is needed at all levels of decision-making and this includes councils. Any council should have 1/3 staff and students; 1/3 government appointments (divided between the crown and Māori); and, 1/3 community and business.
  • The importance of distinctiveness, local connections, and local autonomy are crucial to mention in any submission. The new system could set these out clearly in legislation, in policy, and in charters describing decision-rights. What sort of decision-rights would you want to have as a staff member? Set them out for TEC and explain why these would ensure better outcomes for learners, industry, and community.
  • The new model gives Industry Skills Bodies the power to set skill standards and approve programmes in vocational education (though not degrees or postgraduate qualifications). We must ensure that our academic freedom and professional autonomy is protected. That means qualifications and courses must be industry informed, but not industry driven.

The Minister for Education, Chris Hipkins has made it clear that change iscoming. Our priority now is to come together to make sure the reforms workfor us and our students, our communities, and industry. This is a challengethat requires all of us. Please have your say.