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Greater accountability for tertiary spend


Steven Joyce

8 September, 2010

Greater accountability for tertiary spend

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says today's online publication of information about the performance of tertiary institutions is another step towards transparency and accountability for the country's large investment in tertiary education The Tertiary Education Commission has today released, for the first time, an overview of how institutions measure up again a series of performance indicators.  They are:

  • Successful course completion
  • Completion of qualifications
  • Student progression to higher study
  • Student retention

The material will be updated and released annually.

Mr Joyce says the performance indicators will be another tool to assist taxpayers in assessing the value for money we are obtaining from our country's very large investment in tertiary education. 

"They are a good snapshot of the respective strengths of the tertiary institutions, both at a sub-sector and individual institutional level."
He says he expects that publication of the information will lead to further focus by the TEC and institutions on areas of low-performing provision that is holding back the overall averages of an institution.
"I also expect to see further focus on pastoral care and support of individual students to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed at each institution.
"Those reading the information should note carefully the contextual information provided alongside it which indicates reasons for some of the variances from sub-sector averages. 

"For example high-levels of extramural study at some institutions tends to lower some performance scores - because intramural students currently tend to achieve better results."

Mr Joyce says the information will be another general indicator that prospective students can use to assess which institution they seek to attend. 
"While these top-level indicators are necessarily general in nature, they do give a broad perspective on how institutions are going in educating, supporting, and encouraging their respective bodies of students."

The performance indicators are similar to the statistical breakdowns that will be used for the introduction of performance-linked funding. 
"The exact indicators which will be used at each grouped level of qualifications and the weighting attached to them is still being finalised, but they will be very similar to the data being published today," says Mr Joyce.

The Minister reaffirmed that, over time, the government wants to see publication of performance indicators and performance-linked funding to include employment outcomes for student. 
"Ultimately the vast majority of students are studying to improve their employment prospects.  It's important that we develop timely ways of showing them which pathways through study are best at achieving that." 2012