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Institute readies for graduate course

An Auckland based institution is preparing to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from next year.

As reported in our November 15, 2010 issue, the Government has exempted New Zealand Career College (NZCC) from a funding moratorium to launch the first degree course.

The exemption as a part of the Tertiary Education Commission Strategy released last year, in which the Government had outlined its objective of providing adequate support to Maori and Pacific Island communities to achieve higher qualifications.

The exemption is for new Initial Teacher Education (ITE).

NZCC Chief Executive Feroz Ali said he was thrilled.

“We are proud that our institution met all the criteria set by the Education Ministry and demonstrated the ability to offer a unique product in line with the Tertiary Education Commission Strategy.

The exemption effectively gives our College the green light to start developing a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education (Pasifika Level 7),” he said.

NZCC CEO Feroz Ali says the achievement reflects the calibre of existing courses and of the Ministry’s confidence in the College’s ability to deliver a quality degree programme.

“We have worked hard for more than six years to provide quality teaching and learning at our campuses and it is a matter of pride and satisfaction that our students have done well in their careers or succeeded in further study. We are now ready to add greater value to our education services.”

The Strategic Leadership Board of the College recently formalised a new staff structure in line with required Education Degree Standards, and appointed Dr Nicky van der Bergh as Principal, he said.

Value for money

New Zealand’s Tertiary Education sector is classified into six subgroups including Universities, Polytechnics, Wanaga, Private Training Establishments, Industry Training Organisations (ITO) and Other Tertiary Education Providers.

The five-year strategy, covering as many financial years from 2010 to 2015, set out some tough challenges and lucrative opportunities to educational institutions in the tertiary sector.

Anne Tolley, the then Tertiary Education Minister, said the Government expected value for money and required all providers to be accountable and innovative.

“We want all providers and training organisations to offer quality education by focusing on what they do best. We support specialisation by providers to offer specific qualifications,” she said.

The Government’s decision to curtail spending and the ongoing recession have put a strain on funding, which the Strategy said was ‘a matter of reality.’

“However, high performing providers will attract more resources, particularly through performance-linked funding. This is a part of the Strategy to encourage efficient and high quality degrees, courses and programmes,” it said.

Tertiary institutions will be expected to increase the number of youngsters (aged under 25) to achieve Level Four and above, especially in degree courses.

Quality and Quantity

“The Government expects to see an increasing number of Maori and Pacifika students achieving success at higher levels and more youngsters moving from schools to these institutions,” the Strategy said.

Ministry officials also said that all education providers should promote an ‘inclusive environment that caters to the needs of students with special needs or disabilities.

They said the tertiary sector, including training organisations, should strengthen their engagement with iwi and Maori communities.

“The sector also needs to be responsive to Pasifika communities.

“We expect the entire sector to supply skills that are relevant to the labour market. Tertiary providers need to make better connections with industry and ensure they are aware of the likely demand for skills. They should draw on work undertaken by ITOs to identify industry skill demands as part of their industry leadership role,” they said.

Mr Ali said private Tertiary education providers offering quality NZQA approved and accredited programmes and a Pasifika focus will register faster growth.

“Our Bachelor’s Degree will encourage our Diploma students to continue their study at NZCC rather than moving to other education providers,” he said.

NZCC currently offers the National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) and the Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Pasifika Level 5) at its four Auckland campuses located in Central Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere.

Further information can be obtained from Feroz Ali on (09) 3360030

Email: feroz.ali@nzcc.ac.nz


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