QTI Member Articles

Monthly articles submitted by member organisations

Reforms Bring Opportunity, Risk

Last week's tertiary education reforms announcement has many opportunities and risks for ITI, let alone the broader community. The TEC's website has the details of the reforms�here. On the positive side, most of our May submission has been well received.

1. We argued for more engagement from the Government on PTE issues, especially in relation to a better definition of PTEs' distinctive contribution. Cabinet is considering that issue and work will continue until December.< /br>2. We asked that PTEs' high performance and alignment to government goals be notified to Cabinet, and it has been.< /br>3. We asked for all sectors to be included in the reforms at the same time, a move that has been made.< /br>4. We asked for more clarity on the quality assurance arrangements before decisions are made, which has been done.< /br>5. We asked for major decisions to be held over until some real detail was provided and that was a mixed success, which raises some concerns about consultation (see next article).

There are opportunities for PTEs to work with the Government to clarify its view of what PTEs contribute to the country, and this is a good time to do it, since every PTE qualification will have been assessed against quality and relevance criteria by early 2007, unlike any other subsector.

There are also risks, though, with the whole funding system is seemingly up for grabs, while ITPs' regional facilitation role is still unclear (if somewhat clearer than the regional hub role proposed earlier). The biggest risk is that many decisions are being made very soon, with a very limited evidence base. There are, for instance, only a few statistics or references�in the whole suite of five Cabinet papers, none of which seem to have had any major impact on the final decisions. ITI will reflect on the papers before taking any further steps.

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