Is Otago Polytechnic opposing the reforms?
A resounding NO. Change needs to happen. However, we are opposing the structural model put forward by the Minister, as it will remove our operational decision making and constrain significantly our ability to be innovative and responsive to our region.
Of the three proposals put forward in the consulting paper, we agree with the general direction of points 1.1 and 1.3 as outlined below:
1.1. Redefine the roles of education providers and Industry Training Organisations, (ITOs) and extend industry and employers’ leadership role across all vocational education through new Industry Skills Bodies.
1.3. Create a unified vocational education funding system, removing barriers to collaboration and flexibility, ensuring a sustainable network of provision, and supporting the wider reforms.
Where we disagree is regarding point 1.2, which threatens our regional responsiveness as an institution and undermines the professionalism of teaching as we know it.
1.2. Create a New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology, bringing together our 16 public Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) as a single entity.
Is reform necessary?
Yes. Our learners need to be better served so that they can learn seamlessly at work or in institutions, and we need to reform the funding model.
Are there any benefits to the reform?
The polytechnic sector will benefit significantly from the transfer to us of industry training and apprenticeships. This will also benefit learners with a simpler system and the high quality support which we are renowned for.
Will there be local representation at governance level in the new structure?
No – there are no local governance structures envisaged and the governance board for the proposed centralised institution will be appointed by the government.
Has the impact on local communities been considered?
What does it all mean for international partnerships?
Existing partnerships will be honoured, at least for the time being.
What does it mean for Dunedin jobs?
Wherever there is centralisation and consolidation of services, jobs are at risk. The Government is indicating that there will be job losses over time.