Election 2014 - Party Policies - Tertiary Education

Election 2014 - Party Policies - Tertiary Education

Tertiary Education

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  • Add interest to student loans.
  • Remove price controls that distort educational choices.
  • Have more contestable research funding on the non-teaching side (more here)

  • Work towards establishing a public 'fee-free' tertiary education system
  • Ensure that Tertiary Institutions are adequately funded.
  • Undertake a comprehensive review of the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) model and investigate the merits of alternative funding streams.
  • Move towards a more representative governance model for all tertiary institutions, in which staff, students and communities work in partnership on governing bodies. (more here)

  • Review the structure and operations of the Tertiary Education Commission, in order to determine how to realise its founding vision as a strategic body, operating across all post-school learning, and focused on fostering collaboration, access, relevance and excellence.
  • Support the development of regional tertiary education strategies that will include a particular focus on ensuring that regional labour market needs, research and development and social and community needs are being met by tertiary institutions.
  • Review the cap on enrolments in tertiary institutions, with a view to providing flexibility in its implementation, particularly in times of high unemployment.
  • Develop benchmarking and performance indicators for the sector, as a management tool, not as an accountability mechanism.
  • Retain the Fee Maxima system and keep the annual maximum fee movement at its current rate of 4%. (more here)

  • Reduce and then end all tertiary education fees over time.  In the meantime, there should be no further interest on student loans.
  • Provide students with community-based jobs to help them complete their courses and reduce their debt.
  • Provide graduates with incentives to work in areas where there is an identified need.
  • Māori providers of tertiary education to be funded as a Treaty partnership responsibility of the Crown.
  • Phase out funding for PTE’s, but review and audit Crown owned tertiary education institutions to ensure they pick up the gaps left behind (i.e. to ensure ongoing access for students). (more here)

  • Introduce a fee reduction policy to reduce fees to a nominal level over time.
  • Increase access to student allowances, by reintroducing a universal student allowance – which will be set at the level of the unemployment benefit.
  • Student loan debt repayments should only start when you start earning 1.5 times the average wage. There will be a five year grace period for repayments after graduation. Student loans will remain interest free.
  • We will ensure Māori course and qualification completion is a criterion for performance link funding.  Our Whānau; Our Future.
  • We will advocate for increased Māori representation on tertiary governance bodies, including mana whenua and Māori student representation. (more here)

  • Train more engineers by:
  1. Investing an additional $40 million over four years in engineering courses at universities.
  2. Increasing the proportion of students graduating with an engineering qualification to the OECD average.
  3. Doubling the number of engineering graduates to around 1,800 to 1,900 a year within four years.
  • Boost Maori and Pasifika Trades Training places from 3,000 to 5,000 with an additional $30 million over four years.
  • Upskill our younger workforce with a new target of 60 per cent of 25-34 year olds achieving a degree or diploma by 2017.
  • Create three new ICT Graduate Schools, located in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, to help address skills shortages in the growing ICT industry.
  • Get industry and institutions talking with a new Rate My Qualification survey so students can see what courses and degrees their employers value. (more here)

  • Introduce sufficient funding so that the tertiary education sector can deliver on its goals, end its dependence on international students, promote collaboration and seamless transition between provincial and urban educational institutions, and achieve equivalent performance relating to our position in the OECD.
  • Work alongside the sector, including NZUSA, to establish a project to build capacity for enhancing student engagement so students have a say in how, what and why they learn. This would be based on the implementation of the Student Voice for Quality Enhancement report and by funding a long-term programme to build capacity for student voice in the sector ($2m over 5 years).
  • Consult with sector stakeholders including the Ministry of Education and the new Teachers Council the number of graduates for certain predictable career pathways to guarantee employment opportunities within New Zealand after graduation.
  • Minimise the “opportunity costs” (administration and compliance) and financial barriers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to employ apprentices and provide flexibility for provincial and rural New Zealand students.
  • Encourage strategic alliances between industry crown research institutes and tertiary institutions to increase the number of scholarships and government funded research grants available to graduates, universities and employers. (more here)

  • Ensure that entrance standards remain high for universities to ensure they are internationally competitive. Australia has six universities ranked in the top 50 in the world, but we only have one in the top 100, and this needs to change.
  • Promote greater awareness amongst young people of the opportunities afforded by vocational training, such as apprenticeships.
  • Encourage all young people under 25 who are not at school to either be “earning or learning” (i.e. in some form of education/training or work) and support initiatives such as the Mayoral Taskforce for Jobs.
  • Encourage networks and co-operation between tertiary providers and industry to ensure that skills taught are relevant and required in the future labour market.
  • Ensure that tertiary education instructors undergo a minimum amount of training in teaching, and require teaching performance to be monitored and included as a factor in promotion decisions. (more here)

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