The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) will be directly responsible for all institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) in the country from the New Year, Tertiary Education Minister Stephen Joyce said.
This would effectively reduce the supervisory role of the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ), which has had the responsibility through its Committee called ‘ITP Quality’ since 1993.
NZQA currently manages quality assurance for the PTE sector and for wananga. Universities will remain independent and be responsible for their own quality assurance.
Mr Joyce said the change was in line with the international trend to provide quality assurance for education providers in the public and private sectors.
“We have had discussions with the ITPNZ, which voluntarily returned the delegation for quality assurance to NZQA. This is the best outcome for the sector,” he said.
According to him, the benefits of strong, independent quality assurance across the tertiary sector will help maintain and further improve confidence in New Zealand and abroad.
It is understood that following the change, NZQA will establish a dedicated unit to provide services to ITPs.
Its responsibilities will include approving courses and degree applications and external evaluation and reviews of individual ITPs.
Mr Joyce said an ITP Advisory Forum will be established to provide advice to NZQA on the quality assurance of the sector.