Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) are key providers of vocational education in New Zealand. The Government expects ITPs to enable students (including students with low literacy, language and numeracy skills) to complete relevant qualifications that meet industry needs and/or lead to higher levels of learning.
In 2011 the government funded 18 ITPs across New Zealand to deliver technical, vocational, and professional education, and to undertake research, particularly applied and technological research.
The Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) defines the core roles and expectations of ITPs as:
In 2011 ITPs received $607.4 million – 23% of total government funding for tertiary education organisations
|Core roles||Government expectations|
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In addition to these core roles and expectations, ITPs advance TES priorities according to the needs of their catchment areas. For smaller ITPs, this often involves helping learners to move on to higher levels of learning at other institutions. Others deliver higher levels of learning and undertake applied vocational research.
The Government expects ITPs to respond to the needs of their local catchments first and foremost, with particular focus on the priority groups identified in the TES (Māori, Pasifika and those aged under 25 years). ITPs contribute to TES priorities through:
In 2011 ITP sector highlights included:
In 2011 there was an increased number of enrolments in higher levels of study across the ITP sector
The ITP sector received $607.4 million of Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding in 2011 (23% of the total). The sector performed strongly on some key measures:
A number of challenges faced the ITP sector in 2011, including:
Unless otherwise stated, the following section describes SAC-eligible EFTS only. The ITP sector again delivered the largest share (34%) of its SAC-eligible EFTS at Levels 3–4, followed by Levels 7–8 (30%) and Levels 5–6 (22%).
The ITP sector continued in 2011 to focus on increasing the proportion of enrolments at higher levels, with consistent increases over the previous three years. Participation at Levels 7–8 increased by eight percent (1,475 EFTS) from 2010 to account for 30 percent of total 2011 enrolments.
The largest proportion of 2011 enrolments in the ITP sector was in Management and Commerce (16%), Health (15%) and Society and Culture (14%). The share of participation increased in Health, in Creative Arts and in Architecture and Building, while the share in Management and Commerce decreased. Across all enrolments, the largest decrease was in Agriculture and Horticulture, which fell by 28 percent (1,295 EFTS) in 2011. This is partly attributed to the merger of Telford Polytechnic with Lincoln University. Overall, the distribution of students by field of study changed very little compared with 2010.
Overall, the ITP sector continued to improve its performance against all of the educational performance indicators in 2011. The following section briefly highlights key aspects of performance among the TES priority groups of youth, Māori, and Pasifika learners, as well as research and financial performance.
TES Priority: Increasing the number of young people achieving qualifications at Level 4 and above, particularly degrees
Course and qualification completion rates improved among students aged under 25 years, Māori and Pasifika at ITPs
In 2011, participation of under-25-year-olds continued to rise. In 2011 this group grew to 51 percent of all enrolments across the ITP sector, up from 48 percent in 2010 and 45 percent of total participation in 2008. Youth enrolments continued to grow in higher-level study, with an increase of 835 EFTS (9%) across Levels 7–10 in 2011.
Youth achievement at ITPs improved or stayed the same across all educational performance indicators in 2011. Course completions increased (up from 73% to 76%) as did qualification completions (up from 51% to 57%), and retention (up from 55% to 57%). As was the case in 2010, the higher rates of retention and course completions helped to lift the number of qualification completions over the same period.
Youth participation at Levels 4 and above increased in 2011 across the ITP sector (up by 860 EFTS, a 4% increase) to account for 71 percent of total youth enrolments across ITPs. The increased youth participation was largely in Levels 7–8 degrees and postgraduate programmes (up 818 EFTS or 9%). Youth achievement at Levels 4 and above improved in both course completions (from 75% in 2010 to 78% in 2011) and qualification completions (from 52% in 2010 to 57% in 2011) across the ITP sector in 2011.
In 2011 youth participation was also evident in targeted programmes, with 1,700 EFTS in Youth Guarantee and 182 placements in Youth Training. For Youth Guarantee students, 66 percent achieved course completion and 56 percent achieved qualification completions, while 50 percent of Youth Training trainees progressed to further education and 26 percent progressed to employment. There were also 491 FFTO placements, of which 33 percent progressed to further education and 35 percent progressed to employment.
TES Priority: Increasing the number of Māori students enjoying success at higher levels
In line with overall ITP enrolments, Māori enrolments decreased by three percent in 2011, while continuing to account for 21 percent of total ITP enrolments. Māori enrolments shifted towards higher level study in 2011, with an increase of 370 EFTS in Levels 7–8 programmes.
Overall, educational achievement by Māori students improved across the ITP sector in 2011. Successful course completions by Māori increased (up to 70%, compared to 66% in 2010), while qualification completions increased from 45 percent to 54 percent. Course completions by Māori students rose across all levels of study, as did qualification completions for all levels with the exception of Levels 9–10 (where the decrease can be partially attributed to the enrolment increase at these levels in 2011).
Although these increases are positive trends, the educational performance of Māori students still remained below the average of all ITP students and youth in 2011.
TES Priority: Increasing the number of Pasifika students achieving at higher levels
Pasifika enrolments at ITPs increased to ten percent of total enrolments in 2011. The majority of Pasifika students studied at Levels 3–4 (40% or 2,541 EFTS), followed by Levels 7–8 (24% or 1,521 EFTS). Pasifika enrolments in degree-level and higher programmes increased slightly (217 EFTS) from 2010.
Educational performance by Pasifika students improved in 2011 across course completions (up from 65% to 71%), qualification completions (up from 45% to 52%) and retention (up from 48% to 50%). Student progression from Levels 1–4 decreased, partially attributable to increased enrolments in Levels 1–4 programmes in 2011.
TES Priority: Strengthening research outcomes
ITPs undertake research that supports vocational learning, and work with business and industry to transfer technology to the economy.
The volume of postgraduate enrolments increased at ITPs
Across the ITP sector, the share and volume of postgraduate enrolments has steadily increased over recent years. In 2011, postgraduate enrolments accounted for one percent (820 EFTS) of all ITP enrolments.
Funding for the PBRF is allocated according to three elements: quality evaluation, research degree completions and external research income. ITPs received two percent of the available PBRF funding in 2011, while accounting for 83 research degree completions and generating $1.9 million in external research income.
The quality evaluation round being held in 2012 will reveal an updated picture of research quality in the sector.
Financial performance across the ITP sector met TEC’s recommended three percent surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items). In 2011 the sector achieved an overall net surplus of 5.1 percent, down on 7.1 percent in 2010. Total operating revenue was down 3.4 percent ($36.9 million) with total government revenue down $47.8 million due to a reduction in operational funding and policy changes in financial support for regional delivery. The reduction in government revenue was partially offset by increased revenue from student tuition fees. Total operating expenditure decreased by $10.4 million, but the sector overall was not able to reduce expenses fully in line with its reduction in income. ITP balance sheets remained strong, with increased liquidity levels.
|Key performance metrics||2009||2010||2011|| TEC minimum |
|Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items)||6.3%||7.1%||5.1%||3.0%|
|Net cashflow from operations||117.2%||117.5%||115.2%||111.0%|
|3-Year average return on property, plant equipment and intangibles||7.3%||8.4%||8.9%||4.5%|
| Summary financial statements |
|2009||2010||2011|| % of 2011 |
|Total government revenue||$653,713||$679,186||$631,373||60%|
|Domestic student fees||$210,623||$233,132||$241,544||23%|
|International student fees||$74,004||$83,538||$90,872||9%|
|Other income (including research)||$82,592||$94,782||$89,983||9%|
|Property, plant equipment and intangibles||$1,488,244||$1,532,137||$1,574,577||79%|
|Equity (net assets)||$1,584,101||$1,674,101||$1,719,808|
Almost all TEC-allocated funding for ITPs in 2011 went towards Teaching and Learning ($595.5 million or 98% of the total). The rest was spread across Research ($5.8 million or 1%) and Capability ($6.1 million or 1%).
ITPs will continue to focus on three key areas in 2011 and beyond in order to support the TES priorities: