15 September 2016
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has today released four reviews that were initiated after a new approach to data analysis was introduced last year.
Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) are required to submit Single Data Returns (SDR) to the TEC three times a year, in April, August and December. Data provided is now analysed, alongside data provided from other government agencies, using sophisticated pattern recognition software.
Four of the reviews from the August 2015 data returns were published on the TEC website today. The minor issues identified have been addressed with the providers. The TEC is still working with three other TEOs identified for review from the August 2015 data with one being escalated to an investigation which will scrutinise more data. These reports will be released once completed.
Chief Executive Tim Fowler says the TEC started applying new software to the data submitted by TEOs in the last quarter of last year. This was in line with one recommendation in an independent review of the TEC and NZQA monitoring frameworks (PDF, 718 Kb).
“Data from the vast majority of the 700-plus TEOs we invest in give us no cause for concern,” Mr Fowler said. “But recent analysis of a small number of data returns showed patterns which past experience suggested could merit further scrutiny, so we commissioned reviews.”
He said data analysis also contributes to shaping the annual audit schedule. The TEC audits up to 70 organisations each year, and intends to publish its audit schedule in the future.
It is vital the country has a high performing tertiary education sector that provides excellent outcomes for learners. Monitoring is a ‘business as usual’ role for the TEC and one of its core functions. The TEC continues to enhance its monitoring function to ensure student success and sound stewardship of public money.
Mr Fowler said the TEC had progressively enhanced its monitoring of the sector over the last few years. “We now have a more sophisticated and effective system. We will continue to pursue opportunities to make it better still, to ensure our investment in tertiary education provides the best possible value for New Zealand.”