Chair’s Foreword

An educated society enables economies to grow and communities to prosper by helping individuals achieve success both in their careers and in their wider lives. New Zealand’s tertiary education system performed well in 2011. However, as in all systems there are areas that collectively we need to continue to improve.

With an increasing focus on the outcomes of tertiary education, the Tertiary Education Commission is seeking to support a system where more graduates hold a relevant tertiary education qualification, achieve success in their own lives and contribute to a better New Zealand.

Measuring the performance of tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and publishing this information is an important part of ensuring the continuous improvement of the tertiary education system. It is valuable as it creates visibility for the public on the performance of individual tertiary education institutions, across the respective sectors, and of the tertiary sector as a whole.

It is important to acknowledge that 2011 was both a challenging and eventful year for the tertiary education sector, with TEOs in the Canterbury region feeling the impacts of the earthquakes. That these organisations were able to very quickly reopen was a credit to their governors, management staff and students.

During the period we also saw two tertiary education institution mergers effective from 1 January 2011 and a number of mergers among industry training organisations.

The Government has continued to signal the importance of maintaining a strong tertiary sector by investing a total of approximately $4 billion in 2011.

John Spencer

John Spencer
Chair, Tertiary Education Commission