Profile & Trends 2007: New Zealand's Tertiary Education Sector

Publication Details

This is edition 10 in an annual series on the tertiary education sector. Profile & Trends 2007 has an associated set of tables available on the Tertiary Education Statistics page here on Education Counts.

The short articles in Profile & Trends 2007 include the following topics: People in tertiary education over time: the cumulative cohort participation rate, International tertiary education, Raising the literacy, language and numeracy skills of the workforce, Identifying patterns of research performance in New Zealand's universities.

Author(s): Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting, Ministry of Education

Date Published: November 2008

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

Due to the large size of this report, it is only available to download as chapters (please refer to the 'Sections' inset box, then click on the Section titled 'Download Individual Chapters').  For links to related publications, data and information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.

Section 1: Overview

The following are the key findings of the Ministry of Education's annual report on the tertiary education sector.

Following the release of New Zealand's second tertiary education strategy in December 2006, tertiary education organisations and the government worked on the implementation of the reforms to the systems that steer and fund our tertiary education system. They also worked on developing the approach to quality assurance and monitoring.

The new tertiary education system is expected to better enable providers to contribute collectively to New Zealand's national goals. Throughout 2007, the Tertiary Education Commission worked with tertiary education organisations to develop three-year funding plans based on the distinctive contributions of the different types of tertiary education organisations.

The new funding system provides funding for teaching and learning of domestic students through the student achievement component; funding for research through the Performance-Based Research Fund and the centres of research excellence; and funding to build tertiary education provider capability through the tertiary education organisation component. A new tertiary education capital investment fund is also being established over the next three years.

New Zealand's latest "Household Labour Force Survey" showed that the number of adults who were tertiary qualified continued to grow. People with a bachelors degree or higher-level qualification comprised 18 percent of New Zealand's adult population in 2007, compared to 15 percent in 2006 and 9.2 percent in 1997.

After rising rapidly for many years, the number of students in provider-based education fell in 2007, while the number of learners in industry training continued to increase. The fall in provider-based students was due to a decrease in lower-level certificate study and fewer international student enrolments. On the other hand, the number of domestic students in qualifications at level 4 and higher increased in 2007. Bachelors-level study represented 41 percent of the domestic students. The number of people studying for doctorates continued to increase, principally because of the government's decision to treat international doctoral students as domestic for funding purposes – meaning lower fees for doctoral students from other countries.

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