The Investment Approach

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Last updated 8 November 2016
Last updated 11/08/2016

Two years ago we started on the Investment Approach, working with tertiary education organisations (TEOs), government agencies and other stakeholders.

We looked at how we could make smarter investment decisions in tertiary education, to achieve better social and economic outcomes for learners and New Zealand.

Our aim is to have an approach to investment that is flexible, transparent, sustainable and adaptable. This will help us create a system that is well placed to respond to future changes in tertiary education.  

It will reinforce our role as a steward of the sector through partnering, collaborating and co-creating with key sector partners.

This will also help further demonstrate our commitment towards a more open approach to investment with the sector.

Our CE Tim Fowler talks about the Investment Approach: Overview and looking to the future. This is Part 1 of a series of short films about the Investment Approach. (Youtube, 3.04 minutes)

Why is change needed?

We need to anticipate changes and future-proof the system by responding to demographic and economic forces that are already driving change.

Tertiary enrolments are falling in some parts of the sector because of a drop-off in the number of students at school and more young people choosing to go straight to work from school.

Information is also changing rapidly and increasingly, which means we can access and use quality data and information from a broad range of sources to create a solid evidence base to make smarter investment decisions.

This includes information such as performance indicators, investment impacts, regional demand and student pathway data.

Hear more about what we heard from the initial round on the Investment Approach and how that has informed planning: Sector feedback and our response (Youtube, 2.49 minutes)

Implementing the Quick Wins

In Plan guidance  for the 2017–2018 Investment Plan round, we identified a number of Quick Wins. These are small projects, pilots and initiatives for delivery from 2017.

The Quick Wins looked at areas where we can identify ways to support TEOs to move towards a greater emphasis on the outcomes gained from participating in tertiary education. 

These projects have delivered the first steps in:

• reducing compliance for TEOs (including Plan exemptions)
• developing more robust performance measures (eg, cohort-based Educational performance indicators (EPIs) 
• identifying ways we might invest differently in particular areas of tertiary education (eg, strategic investment opportunities in primary industries).

The majority of this work programme has now been implemented and incorporated into our ‘business as usual’ Plan process.

In the process of developing the Plans for the next investment rounds, most TEOs will have seen first-hand what many of these Quick Wins will mean for them and their organisation.

In many areas, the Quick Wins projects have provided a strong platform to inform our longer- term work programme. 

Changes for the next Investment Plan round

For the next Plan round, and looking to the longer term, we want to introduce further changes to how we invest, and how we can support a more self-regulating system that delivers better outcomes for learners and New Zealand.  

These changes will be more significant than what was delivered in the 2017–2018 Plan round.

The areas that we are looking at include:

  • labour market outcome measures

  • outcome measurement and return on investment (ROI)

  • capability and performance  

  • information for smarter investment.

Ongoing engagement

From the start of our Investment Approach programme, we have been committed to a process of co-creation and design with our stakeholders.

We will continue to build and develop engagement opportunities to ensure we get the best advice and input we can to deliver the system level change we strive for.

We are always looking at ways we can improve and enhance our engagement with all our relevant stakeholders.

We know from working with the sector on the Quick Wins projects, that early engagement is particularly important.

Want to know more?

For more information:

• contact your Investment Manager or the Sector Helpdesk on 0800 601 301
• email the Investment Approach Project Team directly
• fill in our online feedback form
• visit the Sector Reference Group membership and activities page
• visit the resources and updates page.