The Ministry of Education, the TEC, and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) are the central government education agencies most relevant to TEIs.
The Ministry of Education is the government department responsible for developing a broad policy framework for tertiary education. It advises Ministers on the development of the TES and other strategic and policy issues in tertiary education. It is responsible for monitoring the success of the TES, for collecting and managing data on tertiary education and for monitoring the performance of the overall system.
The Secretary for Education is the Chief Executive of the Ministry. The Act confers some statutory functions on the Secretary that are relevant to TEIs. For example, as outlined below, TEIs cannot exercise the power to borrow, issue debentures, or otherwise raise money without the consent of the Secretary (s 192(4), Education Act 1989). The Secretary is also responsible for determining the criteria for assessing TEIs’ level of risk (s 195A, Education Act 1989) and publishing those criteria.
The TEC is responsible for funding post-compulsory education and training offered by TEOs. Its functions are set in the Act and include (s 159F):
The principal interactions between a TEI council and the TEC typically include:
The main functions of the NZQA are to approve qualifications in secondary schools and in post-school education and training, and to oversee the overall quality of the delivery of those qualifications.
The NZQA approves all qualifications delivered by ITPs, PTEs and wānanga. The NZQA does not approve university qualifications, which are approved by the Committee on University Academic Programmes, a committee of Universities New Zealand/Te Pōkai Tara. The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities is responsible for external institutional-level quality assurance for universities.
The NZQA is also responsible for the quality that underpins the delivery of those qualifications. Quality assurance processes include course approval and course accreditation, and the external evaluation and review (EER) and self-assessment of ITPs, wānanga and PTEs.
Only those tertiary qualifications and providers that are quality assured by the NZQA can receive government financial assistance.