Purpose of the Tertiary Education Performance Report

The Tertiary Education Performance Report summarises the performance of the tertiary education sector for 2014 by drawing together educational, financial and governance information on the tertiary sector and on individual universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and wānanga.

This report provides a snapshot of selected indicators for each of the reported institutions. More information on each institution can be found on its website.

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 knowledge and 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 New Zealand Apprenticeships) to certificates and diplomas, Bachelor-level degrees and postgraduate qualifications. These are delivered or arranged by many types of tertiary education organisations (TEOs) (figure 1).

Figure 1: Types of Tertiary education organisations
Figure 1: Tertiary education organisations

The tertiary sector plays a key role in enhancing knowledge and skills across the spectrum, from foundation-level learning through to the most advanced training and qualifications. The Government sets out its long-term strategic direction for tertiary education in the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) issued by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. From 2014 the tertiary sector was responding to the Tertiary Education Strategy 2014–19, which provides a shift in focus from the outputs of the tertiary system to outcomes that include economic, social and environmental aspects. In the coming years, the Government requires the tertiary education system to become more flexible and strategic by:

To achieve this, the Government has articulated six priorities through the TES:

Most TEOs are required to have an Investment Plan with the Tertiary Education Commission. An Investment Plan describes how a TEO will achieve Government priorities set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy, including specific targets for each of these priorities. It also describes a TEO’s mission and role in the tertiary sector and all the tertiary education programmes and activities it undertakes.

Role of the Tertiary Education CommissionTop

The Tertiary Education Commission Te Amorangi Mātauranga (TEC) is a Crown entity with the principal role of funding the tertiary education sector and giving effect to the TES. It does this by:

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

Tertiary education funding for 2014

In 2014 the TEC invested $2.8 billion in Government funding to TEOs that arranged and delivered tertiary education and training to students and trainees (table 1).

Table 1: TEC funding for 2014
Providers 2013 2014
$ (000) % $ (000) %
Universities $1,454,133 53% $1,472,796 53%
Institute of technology or polytechnics $594,014 22% $595,356 22%
Wānanga $169,566 6% $168,501 6%
Industry training organisations $157,434 6% $185,398 7%
Private training establishments $324,655 12% $311,065 11%
Other funded organisations $31,991 1% $32,104 1%
Totals $2,731,794 100% $2,765,220 100%

As figure 2 shows, TEC-investment is split into the following four categories:

Figure 2: Tertiary Education Commission-investment, 2014
Figure 2: Tertiary Education Commission-allocated funding, 2014

This report focuses primarily on the outputs funded by the Student Achievement Component (SAC) appropriation, which is the Governments largest direct contribution to teaching and learning, and in 2014 accounted for approximately $2 billion (74%) of TEC's investment in TEOs. It is also invested in PTEs and Rural Education Activities Programmes (REAPs). Investment is based on volume of delivery, measured in units of equivalent full-time students (EFTS), which are agreed between the TEC and providers in each organisation’s Investment Plan.

Additionally this report provides information on Youth Guarantee, the fees-free tertiary fund administered by the TEC, which aims to increase the educational achievement of 16- to 19 -year-olds, improve transitions between school, tertiary education and work, increase overall achievement for Māori, Pasifika, and students with special education needs and reduce the overall number of young people who are not in employment, education or training. In 2014 across all TEOs the TEC invested $112.5 million in Youth Guarantee programmes.

The TEC has funded fees-free Youth Guarantee delivery at Levels 1–3 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) in PTEs, ITPs and wānanga since 2010. From 2013, Youth Guarantee funding has also been based on volume of delivery using EFTS. This funding plays an important role in the achievement of the Better Public Service target of 85 percent of 18-year-olds achieving National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2 or equivalent by 2017.

The report also provides information on the Industry Training Fund (ITF), which is allocated to ITOs for the arrangement of employment-based training linked to national qualifications, predominantly at NZQF Levels 1 to 4, including apprenticeships. The volume of this training is measured using Standard Training Measures (STMs).