Roger Smyth has had a long association with Aotearoa NZ tertiary education and his occasional blogs provide viewpoints from his background as a policy analyst. He draws from both his experiences, scholarly work and his networks, to provide commentary on contemporary issues affecting tertiary education.
His latest blog, discusses a 'where to next' with regards to Te Pūkenga' as the process of its disestablishment begins. He summarises the reasons for the formation of Te Pūkenga, as a solution to the challenging financial position almost all of the country's polytechnics faced before merger. Discussion is had on the many facets of the reform of vocational education (RoVE) and the problems with combining the two arms of VET, the polytechnics with the industry training organisations (ITO).
He then discusses a few options for the creation of a network of regional polytechnics, how to try to bring some synergy between the objectives of polytechnics and the work-based support provided by ITOs, what do do with the funding system, and how to ensure employer and industry representations on skill needs is carried through to the standards setting function, currently held by Work Development Councils (WDCs).
It will be interesting to see how prescient some of his suggestions are, given that to date, little information has been available on what the post-Te Pūkenga landscape might look like going into the future.