General policy statement
The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Education Act 1989 to provide for the establishment of a new category of institution, a university of technology. Such a category will cater for institutions with a profile extending across the university and polytechnic sectors. The addition of such a category will help to bridge a significant legal gap within the current structure of the tertiary education sector, while enhancing flexibility and encouraging differentiation.
Universities of technology will have a primary responsibility for creating pathways for students to move seamlessly across all levels of tertiary education, providing the highest standards of professional and vocational education. By comparison with research-led universities, their lower proportion of research post-graduate students, and intensity of internationally published research, will be offset by a particularly strong commitment to high level professional and vocational education, establishment of close links with business and industry, engagement in applied research and advanced practice, delivery of appropriate sub-degree programmes, and provision for pathways by which students can progress to higher levels of education and training as and when required to pursue their career goals.
The creation of a new category of tertiary institution will reflect the international diversification of higher education providers, and natural development following the creation of the new class of specialist colleges.
The Education Act currently categorises institutions as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, specialist colleges or wananga. More flexibility is needed to better recognise dual-sector institutions that provide pathways from sub-degree to degree education. A university of technology will demonstrate the same essential characteristics as any other university, but the primary mission of a university of technology will be to raise workplace skills and knowledge to meet a broad spectrum of industry, business and community needs.
The establishment of the university of technology category will bring the New Zealand tertiary sector into line with tertiary sectors overseas. The capacity to recognise tertiary institutions in New Zealand as universities of technology will also allow those institutions effectively operating as such to promote themselves accurately in the overseas market.
Clause by clause analysis
Clause 1 is the Title clause.
Clause 2 is the commencement clause. The Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.
Clause 3 states that the principal Act being amended is the Education Act 1989.
Clause 4 provides that the purpose of the Act is to establish a new university of technology category of institution and provide for
“university of technology” to be a protected term.
Clause 5 amends the definition of
“institution” in section 159 of the Education Act, and includes a definition of a university of technology. It makes a consequential amendment to section 159(3).
Clause 6 sets out the characteristics of a university of technology and makes consequential amendments to section 162 of the Education Act, which deals with the establishment of institutions, to include universities of technology.
Clause 7 clarifies that the status of a university of technology is a body corporate under section 166 of the Education Act.
Clause 8 amends section 264A of the Education Act to allow registered establishments to apply to the Minister for consent to use the term
“university of technology”.
Clause 9 amends the offence provisions in section 292 of the Education Act to provide that it is an offence to use the term
“university of technology” unless authorised by the provisions of the Education Act.