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Unitec supports Reform of Vocational Education

Unitec Institute of Technology supports the proposed Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) and has submitted its proposed model for restructuring the sector.

We see it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a fit for purpose seamless system with the value and relevance for learners, employers, communities and the Treaty of Waitangi at its core. In developing this new system it is important that form follows function. This new form should take the best of the tertiary sector and Industry Training Organisations and create something better which improves access, quality and equity of provision throughout New Zealand. 

Underpinning the need for urgent change is our acknowledgement that the current operating structure and funding mechanism of the ITP sector is not sustainable. Action is needed to ensure a stable and continuously improving vocational education sector which is able to increase provision, respond to disruptive change and invest in its future development.

With 16,884 students enrolled in 130 programmes in 2018, Unitec is New Zealand’s largest ITP. Led by the principles of Te Noho Kotahitanga, the institute primarily serves Central and West Auckland including the rapidly expanding Waitakere area, with strong representation for priority groups of Māori, Pacific, and under 25.

With oversight from a Crown Commissioner, the institute is undertaking a major renewal process, having restructured and rationalised its operations and reviewed all programmes and activities to ensure better alignment with student, community and industry needs. We believe that Unitec is now well positioned to support students and staff and deliver quality-assured programmes as an early adopter of RoVE.

Our submission document was created with the input of our staff, partners and community. Unitec hosted consultation sessions and workshops to ensure all interested stakeholders were informed and invited to contribute.  Submissions from our Māori and Pacific staff, and Runanga and Fono have been made separately to recognise the complexity and significance of these key stakeholders to Unitec, and should be considered alongside the Unitec submission.  We have included links to all three submissions.

Although the proposed RoVE documents necessarily refer to the rational structures and processes involved, we see the Reform of Vocational Education as a people-led change programme, for which there must be a kaupapa, structure and strategy developed to build engagement and bring diverse stakeholders together. These stakeholders need to be involved at the operational design level, the details of which we would anticipate will be covered in subsequent consultation.

In general, our position is that:

  • Unitec supports proposals 1, 2 & 3 of RoVE
  • Principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi must be enshrined in the charter and kaupapa
  • Focus must be on value and relevance to learners, employers and diverse communities
  • All three proposals must be enacted for the RoVE project to deliver on its stated purpose
  • A transition board should be established to oversee further consultation and design
  • Unitec is ready to be an early adopter of RoVE

Unitec submission on Reform of Vocational Education Te Rūnanga o Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka submission on Reform of Vocational Education Unitec Fono Faufautua submission on Reform of Vocational Education