New Zealand Higher Education – Fast Facts
Upon the announcement of New Zealand’s ‘Reform of Vocational Education’, we have comprised an overview of the trends in the tertiary education system, and what we should expect to see happen within the sector.
Check our fast facts below to learn more about each significant component of the current system, and how this new reform is expected to make an impact.
Government Funding Availability
Between 2017 and 2018:
Vocational Education – Changes
According to the ‘Reform of Vocational Education’, on top of the merger of 16 Institute of Technology and Polytechnics into a single entity, a unified funding system is set to be applied to the vocational space, in order to simplify the current funding program.
Currently, Polytechnics and ITOs work independently of each other – under different funding – often with qualifications that are not transferable or consistent across the country. See here for more about what the new reforms will entail.
Funding for vocational education is currently dependent on who is delivering the qualification, rather than what is being taught. This causes ITOs and education providers to go up against one another.
It is anticipated that this new funding system will include:
In 2017, the first-year retention rates for other qualification levels were:
Overall, 80 percent of students who started study in 2016 were retained in tertiary study in 2017. Women have slightly higher first-year retention rates than men for Certificate and Diploma study (levels 1 to 7), while for degrees and postgraduate qualifications the rates for women and men are similar.
The data finds women who are in the working-age population participate in tertiary education at a higher rate when compared to men. In 2017, 13% of women were involved in tertiary study, versus 9% of men. These rates have seen a slight drop compared to 10 years earlier – in 2007, 17% of women and 15% of men were in tertiary education. Looking at higher qualifications, the participation rate of working-age women for these levels came up at just over 7% in 2017.
In November 2018, it was reported that there has been an upwards trend in apprenticeship participation numbers since 2012. The number of apprenticeships undertaken in 2017 totalled to 46,100 in 2017 – 40,400 were men and 5,670 were women. Almost 80% of industry training was a combination of qualification levels 3 and 4 – a 14% increase compared to five years earlier. In 2017, approximately 40% of all industry training at level 3 and 4 involved apprentices.
Enrolments and Completions
From 2010 to 2016, over
completed a qualification year on year
These high completion figures compared to previous years can be attributed to two factors:
The decrease in the number of qualifications completed from 2016 to 2017 is attributed to fewer level 2 Certificates, Bachelors degrees and graduate Diplomas and Certificates completed. Despite this, completion rate for level 5 to 7 Diplomas and Certificates saw an upwards trend in 2017 – there was a 70% uplift in the latest four-year rate (2010 – 2014), versus the latest six-year rate of 67% (2009 – 2014).
Overall, qualification completion rates for level 1 to 4 Certificates have been on the increase since 2007, but have since steadied. For full-time students, the latest four-year rates for level 1 to 3 Certificates were close to 80%, in comparison to over 70% for level 4 Certificates.
This new, unified system is expected to create a more sustainable approach compared to the current system in place – to build on the success of a work-based system, as well as from a funding perspective.
This outlook on vocational funding arrangements is also set to help industry, employers and providers collaborate better, which will in turn provide more opportunities for work-based learning and create a foundation for a higher performing vocational education system.
Combined with the ‘Fees-Free’ initiative that launched January 1 2018, that has already “stabilised a decline of overall student and trainee enrolment numbers over the past four years, the result of a continued strong economy and more people choosing work over study”, according to Chris Hipkins of the New Zealand Parliament, the vocational education sector in New Zealand is projecting a strong turnaround.
Using the data trend from previous years as a guide, higher education and higher-level courses are projected to maintain steady growth when it comes to overall participation rates.
Reforms are also set to dismantle New Zealand’s industry-led training and apprenticeship system, as industries will now have a say on whether they would prefer if their training organisation was taken over by a single government-own institute.
This new system will provide access to more tutor support and pastoral care, encouraging more tailors support to all kinds of apprentices and trainees.