A focus on what tertiary education delivers us all and rejection of blunt metrics are just two of the changes needed in the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) if the sector is to transform lives.

TEU has provided further recommendations to the Minister of Education on the TES and commends the government’s overall vision for the tertiary education sector, acknowledging that the objectives and priorities contained in the TES align, for the most part, with the values and recommendations of the TEU.

However, if our tertiary education system is to be genuinely transformative, we think greater emphasis needs to be placed on ensuring that: education is free and therefore accessible by all; stronger Tiriti relationships are developed and maintained; the wellbeing of staff and students continues to be prioritised; teaching and learning occurs in safe spaces; meaningful collaboration is encouraged throughout the sector; and, crucially, adequate resourcing is provided so that the above goals can be achieved.

In providing further commentary on the TES, the TEU has called for:

• Clarity surrounding the public role of tertiary education and an explicit statement outlining the value of tertiary education both within the context of wider society and in relation to social change.

• Tertiary education must be free at all levels to all New Zealanders, irrespective of age, socio-economic background, or geographical location.

• More can be done to: build stronger Tiriti relationships; empower and ensure the wellbeing of staff and students through the provision of quality pastoral care; and, to make sure our education institutions are safe spaces conducive to teaching and learning and free of all forms of discrimination.

• Evaluation strategies based on blunt metrics should be replaced by a focus on reviewing the extent to which long-term learning outcomes are being achieved across the sector.

• The amount of funding available for the tertiary education sector should be increased to 2.7% of GDP per annum by 2021.

• The TES should include an explicit statement pertaining to tertiary education as a public good in relation to environmental sustainability and the current climate crisis.

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