April 11, 2019
Polytechs backing sector reform
Half the country's polytechs are backing the Government's plans for their sector.
The reforms have drawn fire from industry training organisations, who say their interests and those of their tauira and apprentices are being sacrificed in an attempt to make polytechs financially viable.
The ITOs say their success rates with tauira Māori are higher than polytechs.
In a joint submission Unitec, Manukau Institute of Technology, Waikato Institute of Technology, The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, Whitireia Community Polytechnic and Wellington Institute of Technology, Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand say merging 16 polytechnics and 11 Industry Training Organisations into one national institute is a step forward.
They say there still needs to be room for some decisions to be made at grass roots level so the needs of both learners and industries in different communities are taken into account.
Unitec chief executive Merran Davis says Māori ownership of the new model was also critical, because it would assist in closing the gap between success rates of Māori and non-Māori students.
The group says the current funding process was inflexible and had led to institutions trading quality against cost.
However it also warned the amalgamation process carried significant complexity and risks.
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