Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs): Primarily, but not exclusively, inter-institutional networks of researchers working together on a commonly agreed work programme; each hosted by a university and generally comprising a number of partner organisations including other universities, Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), and wānanga

Crown Research Institutes (CRIs): Crown-owned companies that carry out scientific research for the benefit of New Zealand

Education Act 1989: The Act and its subsequent amendments that reformed the administration of education in New Zealand

Educational performance indicators (EPIs): The key measures that the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) uses to assess the annual contribution each tertiary organisation makes towards the priorities set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy 2010–15

Tertiary education organisations (TEOs) funded through the Student Achievement Component (SAC) have four EPIs:

  1. Successful course completion is measured by the EFTS-weighted successful course completion rate (where EFTS means ‘equivalent full-time student’). This is the successfully completed enrolments in courses at a TEO each year, as a proportion of the total enrolments in courses, weighted by the EFTS value of the enrolments.
  2. Student retention is measured by the student completion (or continuation) rate. This is the number of re-enrolments or qualification completions at a TEO each year compared with the number of students present at the TEO in the previous year.
  3. Qualification completion is measured by the EFTS-weighted qualification completion rate. This is the number of qualifications completed at a TEO each year (weighted by the EFTS value of each qualification), as a proportion of the total enrolments in qualifications (weighted by the EFTS value of the enrolments).
  4. Student progression is measured by the completion progression rate. This is a rate of re-enrolment in a higher-level qualification in the following year for students who have completed a qualification. As progression into higher study is more important from lower level programmes, TEC’s published EPI figures on progression report the rate of learners who progress after completing a qualification at either NZQF Level 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Industry training organisations (ITOs) have two EPIs related to credit and programme completion:

  1. Credit completion represents the credits achieved by trainees at an ITO, as a proportion of the total number of credits trainees are expected to complete in a given period at each ITO.
  2. Programme completion measures the number of programmes completed by trainees, as a proportion of the total number of credits which trainees are expected to complete in a given period at each ITO, weighted by the nominal credit value of the completed programme.

Equivalent full-time students (EFTS): The main unit of measure of the consumption of education (with one student enrolled in a standard programme of study full-time for the full year equating to 1.0 EFTS); also the basic unit of measure of tertiary teaching input for Student Achievement Component funding

External evaluation and review (EER): The New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s periodic process that reviews independently the educational performance and self-assessment capabilities of institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga, and private training establishments; focuses on the valued outcomes of tertiary education instead of a traditional audit approach that measures inputs and processes

Financial Monitoring Framework (FMF): The framework the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) uses to monitor the financial performance of tertiary education institutions (TEIs); uses audited historical financial results and forecast financial information to establish a risk rating for each TEI, enabling TEC to focus resources on TEIs in the greatest need; includes three-year average return on property, plant and equipment, the ratio of earnings before interest paid and earned, taxation, depreciation, amortisation, and abnormals (EBITDA) to end-of-year property, plant and equipment, averaged over three years

Liquid funds: Liquid assets less short-term overdrafts minus cash outflow (payments) from operations

Net cashflow from operations: Cash inflow (receipts) from operations minus cash outflow (payments) from operations

Full-time equivalent staff (FTE): A unit that measures employed persons by their proportion of worked compared to a full-time position; makes staffing numbers comparable despite employees working differing numbers of hours per week

Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items): Ratio of net surplus (or deficit) after unusual and non-recurring items to total revenue, expressed as a percentage (e.g. $3 net surplus on $100 total revenue is a 3% net surplus)

Staffing FTE: Total full-time equivalent (FTE) staff employed by the reporting entity; sourced from each TEI’s financial monitoring templates as provided to TEC and may vary from single data return (SDR) submissions

Total EFTS to Teaching Staffing (Academic and Tutorial Staffing FTE): Ratio of total EFTS (SAC-funded plus non-SAC-funded) to academic and tutorial staff of the reporting entity; sourced from each TEI’s financial monitoring templates as provided to TEC

Total government revenue: Total government funding as reflected in each TEI’s financial monitoring templates as provided to TEC plus Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) income, internal research grants and income, and other government funding

Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO): Programmes targeting learners at the highest risk of long-term unemployment, with explicit focus on improving literacy and numeracy skills; refocuses the Training Opportunities fund, with TEC and Ministry of Social Development allocating funding through a split arrangement from 2011

Funding categories: The 40 separate TEC administered funds across 14 appropriations; summarised for simplicity in four categories:

Capability: Funds that contribute to capability across the sector or enhance the capability of a specific tertiary education organisation (TEO). For example:

Research: Funds that contribute to research:

Scholarships and Learners: Tertiary scholarships paid directly to, or for the benefit of, specific students and learners

Teaching and Learning: Funds that specifically contribute to the provision of education, and connected funding streams. For example:

Industry cash contribution rate: Industries’ contribution to industry training organisations (ITOs); an indicator that employers and industry value the training that the ITO sector arranges; calculated as the proportion of total ITO income contributed by employers and industry for the purpose of achieving credits and national qualifications

Investment Plan: The funding agreement between each tertiary education organisation (TEO) and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) covering the organisation's operational and capital spending; outlines each organisation’s mix of education and training, as well as performance standards and outcomes; links each organisation’s education provision and performance to the desired outcomes of the Government, learners, businesses, and communities; ‘overdelivery’ (enrolment of more than 103 percent of the agreed level of funded EFTS) prompts engagement with TEC to reach a satisfactory reduction in delivery; ’underdelivery’ (enrolment of less than 97 percent of the agreed level of funded EFTS) may require the return of unused funding

Ministry of Education: The Government’s lead advisor on the New Zealand education system

Modern Apprenticeships (MA): A work-based education initiative for young people, available in 36 industries, that leads to a nationally recognised qualification

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA): The Crown entity charged with ensuring that New Zealand qualifications are robust and are credible nationally and internationally

New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF): The comprehensive list of all quality-assured qualifications in New Zealand, ranked from least complex (Level 1) to most complex (Level 10); established in July 2010

New Zealand Standard Classification of Education (NZSCED): The subject-based classification system for courses and qualifications at universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga and private training establishments

New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit (NZUAAU): An independent body established and owned by Universities New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee); reviews academic quality monitoring systems, and advises on good practice and quality-assurance issues

Partnerships for Excellence (PfX): A fund that enables the Crown to match private-sector investments in significant new initiatives in the public tertiary education sector in line with the Tertiary Education Strategy

Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF): The Tertiary Education Commission-administered fund to encourage and reward excellent research in the tertiary education sector; entails assessing the research performance of tertiary education organisations and then funding them accordingly; based on the three elements of quality evaluation, research degree completions and external research income

Performance-linked funding: The system introduced in 2010 to encourage all tertiary education organisations to reach an acceptable standard of educational performance; from 2012 will link five percent of providers’ funding to their performance on educational performance indicators (EPIs) in the previous year

Performance commitments: The targets agreed between the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and an individual tertiary education organisation (TEO) that are used to measure and evaluate the TEO’s performance; agreed on an individual organisation basis in Investment Plans, so commitments vary among TEOs

Provider-based delivery: Tertiary education that occurs on-campus rather than in the workplace

Single Data Return (SDR): A set of data required by the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for funding, monitoring performance against Investment Plans, publishing performance information, as well as statistical reporting purposes; required of all tertiary education organisations(TEOs) that receive Student Achievement Component funding or have students with student loans or allowances

Standard Training Measure (STM): The main unit of measure of the consumption of training (with one STM equalling the amount of training required to achieve 120 register credits or equivalent in an approved structured training programme); also the basic unit of measure of input for training funding

Student Achievement Component (SAC): The government’s contribution to the direct costs of teaching, learning, and other costs driven by student numbers within approved Investment Plans; the largest funding pool supporting the delivery of tertiary education

StudyLink: The service of the Ministry of Social Development that provides financial support to students

Tertiary education institutions (TEIs): Public institutions (Crown entities) that receive public funding to deliver tertiary education in accordance with their specific role as defined in the Education Act 1989, comprising New Zealand’s eight universities, 18 institutes of technology and polytechnics, and three wānanga

Tertiary education organisation (TEO): Bodies that provide tertiary education-related services, comprising universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga, private training establishments, industry training organisations, and other TEC-funded organisations such as schools and community providers that deliver tertiary education and training

Tertiary Education Strategy 2010–15 (TES): The Government’s high-level set of strategic priorities and associated strategies for tertiary education, as required by legislation

University Quality Audits: Five-yearly whole-of-institution audits carried out by the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit (NZUAAU); focus on the ability of institutional processes to support each university’s achievement of its specified outputs and outcomes

Youth Guarantee: An initiative announced in Budget 2009 that focuses on improving the educational achievements of targeted 16- and 17-year-olds by enabling them to participate in a range of vocational courses free of charge

Youth Training: A targeted, TEC-funded programme primarily for learners under 18 years of age who have left school with few or no qualifications; aimed at the acquisition of foundation skills that enable them to move into sustainable employment and/or higher levels of tertiary education