Ako Aotearoa Welcomes Focus on Teaching Excellence
Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, welcomed the attention given to teaching quality in the final report from the Productivity Commisson’s inquiry into new models of tertiary education, released today.
“We are particularly pleased to see the Commission arguing for the introduction of frameworks for tertiary teaching standards,” said Dr Stanley Frielick, Director of Ako Aotearoa. “As the Commission acknowledges, this is an area where we have supported significant work, due to the value of such frameworks for encouraging high quality practice. We are also pleased that the Commission has noted that such frameworks should draw on evidence around effective practices specifically for Māori and Pacific learners. We look forward to working across all sub-sectors to implement this recommendation.”
“Similarly, we welcome the Commission’s position that degree students need to be taught first and foremost by people that are good teachers, and its recognition that the Performance-Based Research Fund needs to be reviewed to ensure it does not encourage education organisations to focus on rewarding practitioners who are primarily good researchers at the expense of those who are primarily good educators.”
Ako Aotearoa was also enthusiastic about the Commission’s recognition of the need for good careers education and learner decision-making, and recommendations concerning better credit transfer and ensuring that our funding system does not penalise positive outcomes for learners such as employment. These strongly reflect the principle that New Zealand’s tertiary education system should be driven primarily by the needs of learners.
“We do not agree with all the Commission’s recommendations or analysis,” said Dr Frielick. “For example, we are not in favour of increasing the financial burden of studying, which the Commission’s proposals around fees and student loans would lead to if implemented. We also continue to have concerns around moving to self-accreditation, and are disappointed that the Commission has not recognised the benefits that stronger ‘student voice’ in the education system could bring.”
“The Productivity Commission’s final report will undoubtedly create significant debate. We look forward to being part of those conversations and using the Commission’s recommendations as inputs to help ensure that our system leads to the possible outcomes for all learners.”