Tertiary pass rates unlikely to be manipulated - TEC

Posted by puguh on Friday, February 18, 2011

Tertiary pass rates unlikely to be manipulated - TEC. Performance-linked tertiary education funding is unlikely to tempt universities and polytechnics to manipulate their pass rates by accepting lower quality work from students, says the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

"The whole idea is not to be punitive with this," TEC chief executive Roy Sharp told parliament's education select committee yesterday.

"We're not talking about pulling out large amounts of money".

The TEC was setting weighted thresholds - if an institution's pass rate was above the threshold set for it, no money would be taken away. If it was below a particularly low threshold, 5% of government funding would be removed.

But Sharp noted that the thresholds had been drawn up on the basis of results for 2009, and he expected that 2011 figures "will be somewhat improved".

Tertiary educators would be making their own evaluations.

The TEC did not expect 100% pass rates, but in some courses in some institutions, the pass rates were too low.

Universities and polytechnics were unlikely to lower their standards because they would lose credibility in the education market, and there would also be outside reviews to look at how standards were maintained.

"The combination of the reputational aspect and quality assurance aspects protect us," he said.

He said Maori and Pacific Island students had lower pass rates than the general student population.

The TEC's new chairman, Sir Wira Gardiner, said he was particularly concerned about Maori and Pacific Island students.

Qualification completion rates for the past five years showed women generally had much better completion rates than men, TEC director of policy advice Susan Shipley said.

Of the Maori women who started fulltime study in 2005, 62% had completed a qualification by 2009, and for Maori men the figure was 57%. The comparable rates for all domestic students were 76% for women and 69% for men.

On enrolment rates, Shipley said there was a trend for students to apply to several institutions at once.

"In the past couple of years although it has been tight, there haven't been a lot of people turned away from fulltime study," she said.

The complexity of enrolment processes made it impossible to say how many students missed out on places.

But there were some institutions still trying to fill courses even at this late stage, and others which had long waiting lists.

Source: http://tvnz.co.nz

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