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ITPs “open for business” during merger talks

Education New Zealand has reassured stakeholders that Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics will continue to welcome international students after education minister Chris Hipkins announced merger plans for the providers.

Under the poposal, New Zealand's 16 ITPs will merge into one entity. Photo: Hamish Clark/UnsplashUnder the poposal, New Zealand's 16 ITPs will merge into one entity. Photo: Hamish Clark/Unsplash

The government also proposed an overhaul of vocational funding to remove barriers for collaboration

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke”

Under the Review of Vocational Education, New Zealand’s 16 ITPs would become one entity under the working name of the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology, in a bid to overhaul the country’s vocational state-funded system and meet skills demands.

“The world around us is changing rapidly and our education system needs to keep up,” said Hipkins.

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke.”

As part of the change, the government has also proposed to redefine the roles of education providers, increase regional influence in vocational training, and vocational funding, which it said would remove barriers for collaboration and flexibility.

“Instead of our institutes of technology retrenching, cutting programmes, and closing campuses, we need them to expand their course delivery in more locations around the country,” Hipkins said.

“What we are proposing is ambitious, but it needs to be. We cannot continue to tweak the system knowing that the model is fundamentally broken, and isn’t delivering our workforce the skills that they need to thrive.”

In a statement to stakeholders, ENZ reassured stakeholders ITPS would continue to receive the same level of support as previously.

“Throughout 2019, we will continue to support ITPs in the market, providing global marketing campaigns, events, agent training, market intelligence, agent and media familiarisation tours, lead referrals from the Study in New Zealand website, and other resources,” said ENZ chief executive Grant McPherson.

“New Zealand’s ITPs remain open for business and continue to welcome international students.”

Public consultation for the RoVE closes on 27 March.

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