New Laws is pleased to bring you this update from Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce who advised in mid April that The Education Amendment Bill (no. 4) passed its first reading in Parliament.
The Bill is aimed at the many Private Training Establishments (PTE’s) which are involved in the rich export education market and is designed to see to it that higher standards are maintained and that there is greater accountability by introducing changes to the oversight of such institutions.
Changes in the Bill are designed to:
- Vest greater powers in the NZQA to ensure that it can monitor and enforce compliance by PTE’s
- Raise the bar for institutions seeking registration as a PTE to ensure transparency and make sure the PYTE’s attain certain minimum acceptable standards.
The Minister observed to sources close to New Laws that the legislation is now out of step with the registration process for PTE’s as a result of not keeping pace with the changes and growth in the sector in the past twenty or so years.
“The current measures available for managing performance in this sector are insufficient in today’s conditions. NZQA’s work to drive improvements in the lowest performing PTEs is currently hampered by the outdated nature of the legislative provisions and inconsistencies within them.
“While the vast majority of providers are doing a good job, there have been incidents involving dishonest practices in some PTEs. It is important that steps are taken to ensure such practices are not allowed to continue.
“These changes will further increase the confidence of international students in the quality and strength of New Zealand’s private education system and its protection of students’ interests.
“The increased investment in the sector, and its growing economic value to New Zealand, increases the importance of a clear and effective regulatory regime.
“International education contributes more than $2 billion in total to our economy each year – further development of the sector will bring real benefits in terms of economic growth plus additional income to allow our tertiary institutions to grow.
“It’s vital that we keep working on enhancing the quality of the sector so New Zealand remains an attractive place to study.”
New laws aims to bring you regular updates on upcoming law changes as they occur and eventually pass into New Zealand laws. In the event that you require specific legal advice on any topic you are recommended to contact your specialist Christchurch Lawyer.