Tertiary Education Strategy Monitoring 2014-2019

Publication Details

This report covers progress against the 2014-2019 Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) for the period to 2015.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: February 2017


A well-performing tertiary education system prepares individuals for success, and contributes to wider economic growth. Qualifications earned through tertiary study allow individuals to gain the skills they need to be successful in modern life, and tertiary study provides businesses with the skilled workers they need to support economic growth through productivity and labour market participation.

The report is intended to provide information on progress towards measurement indicators, signal areas that may need increased focus and inform broader public debate about the direction of the tertiary education system.

The six priority areas of the TES form a framework for the report; each section details the indicators relating to the priority and includes a summary of key points. Appendix 1 provides a baseline for this monitoring report on the fourth TES by summarising changes in quantitative indicators between 2013 and 2015.

The report draws from a set of indicators that provides a measure of the overall health of the tertiary education system. These cross-strategy indicators are available for download.

The 2014-2019 Tertiary Education Strategy

Through the TES, the government articulates its long-term strategic direction and current and medium-term priorities for tertiary education.

The 2014-2019 TES focuses on building a more outward-facing and engaged tertiary education system, with strong links to industry, community and the global economy. The previous TES (2009-2014) set the framework for improvements within the tertiary education system by driving the implementation of changes, such as setting performance incentives for providers and improving information for students.

Ultimately the tertiary education system must contribute to achieving the long-term strategic goals of:

  • building international relationships that contribute to improved competitiveness
  • supporting business and innovation through development of relevant skills and research
  • improving outcomes for all.

With a long-term view in mind, the strategy sets out six priorities of strategic focus for the tertiary education system over the next three to five years, of:

  • delivering skills for industry
  • getting at-risk young people into a career
  • boosting achievement of Māori and Pasifika
  • improving adult literacy and numeracy
  • strengthening research-based institutions
  • growing international linkages.

The TES is one of the tools the government is using to focus the tertiary education sector. Along with the TES, the Business Growth Agenda (BGA), the Māori Education Strategy: Ka Hikitia, the Pasifika Education Plan, the Blueprint for Education System Stewardship, the Leadership Statement for International Education and the Better Public Services (BPS) targets all work together to make improvements in line with the six priorities and progress towards the long-term goals.

The TES priorities are in place to guide the delivery of improvements in the system. Achieving progress on the indicators in this report will not solve all the challenges we face in New Zealand, but it will position the tertiary education system to be better equipped to improve outcomes for all learners in the future.

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