Purpose of the Tertiary Education Performance Report

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has a statutory responsibility to report to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment on the performance of the tertiary sector.

The 2011 Tertiary Education Performance Report draws together a range of educational, financial and governance information on the tertiary sector as well as on individual universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and wānanga. This report provides a snapshot of selected indicators for each institution; see an institution’s own website for a more comprehensive picture of its performance.

The Tertiary Education Sector

New Zealand’s economic and social well-being relies in part on a high-quality and responsive tertiary education system. Its most important role is to help New Zealanders develop the right skills to meet the new and changing challenges of the 21st century.

Tertiary education in New Zealand includes all post-school education, from adult and community education, literacy and numeracy skills, and industry training (including Modern Apprenticeships) to certificates and diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees and postgraduate qualifications. These are delivered or arranged by many types of tertiary education organisations (TEOs):

Of these, the universities, ITPs and wānanga are Crown entities and are known as tertiary education institutions (TEIs).

Figure 1: Tertiary education organisations
Figure 1: Tertiary education organisations

The Government has named six strategic drivers of its policy to improve New Zealand’s economic performance and support sustainable growth. These drivers are:

The tertiary sector addresses these strategic imperatives in a number of ways. It plays a key role in enhancing skills across the spectrum from foundation learning through to the most advanced training and qualifications. Effective and efficient tertiary institutions contribute to a well performing public sector. The research and skills developed in tertiary education support innovation and growth in New Zealand industry.

The Government invests around $4 billion annually in tertiary education. To get the best return on this investment, the Government has articulated seven priorities in its Tertiary Education Strategy 2010–15:

In addition to TEC, a range of other government agencies are concerned with tertiary education. These include the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Careers New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development, Inland Revenue Te Tari Taake, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. More information can be found on TEC website www.tec.govt.nz.

Role of the Tertiary Education Commission

TEC is a Crown entity with the principal role of giving effect to the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES). It does this by:

TEC’s legislative functions are set out in section 159F of the Education Act 1989 and include allocating funding to TEOs and providing advice on matters affecting tertiary education to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. Other major functions set out in the Education Act are to develop and implement funding mechanisms and to monitor the performance of organisations that receive funding from TEC.

2011 tertiary education funding

This report focuses primarily on the outputs achieved via the Student Achievement Component (SAC) fund, which is the government’s direct contribution to teaching and learning, and accounts for 70 percent of government funding for TEIs. It is also allocated to private training establishments and Rural Education Activities Programmes. Allocations are based on volume of delivery measured in equivalent full-time students (EFTS), which are agreed between TEC and the providers in each institution’s Investment Plan.

This report also provides information on the Industry Training Fund (ITF) which is allocated to industry training organisations for the arrangement of employment-based training linked to national qualifications, predominantly at NZQF Levels 1 to 4, including Modern Apprenticeships. The volume of such training is measured using Standard Training Measures (STM).

TEC funding is split into the following four categories:

Figure 2: Tertiary Education Commission-allocated funding, 2011
Figure 2: Tertiary Education Commission-allocated funding, 2011

In 2011 the Government spent $2.68 billion on the services of TEOs. This was allocated by TEC to fund the activities of over 800 TEOs as they arranged and delivered tertiary education and training for an estimated 281,244 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) across New Zealand.

Table 1: TEC funding for 2011
Providers 2010 2011
$ (000) % $ (000) %
Universities  $1,382,592 50%  $1,403,845 52%
Institutes of technology & polytechnics  $664,001 24%  $607,413 23%
Wānanga  $169,901 6%  $170,359 6%
Industry training organisations  $193,942 7%  $151,273 6%
PTEs & OTEPs  $323,638 12%  $300,363 11%
Other funded organisations  $32,981 1%  $38,119 1%
Students / Trainees  $17,290 1%  $6,069 0.2%
 Totals   $2,784,345 100%  $2,677,441 100%
From 2011 the PTE sector includes TEOs formerly known as OTEPs.