2013 Performance

Institutes of technology and polytechnics

Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) are key providers of vocational education in New Zealand. The Government expects ITPs to enable students (including students with low literacy, language and numeracy skills) to complete relevant qualifications that meet industry needs and/or lead to higher levels of learning.

In 2013 the Government funded 18 ITPs across New Zealand to deliver technical, vocational and professional education, and to undertake research, particularly applied and technological research.

In 2013 ITPs received $594 million22 percent of total Government funding for tertiary education organisations

The Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) defines the core roles and Government expectations of ITPs as:

Core roles Government expectations
  • Deliver vocational education that provides skills for employment
  • Undertake applied research that supports vocational learning and technology transfer
  • Assist progression to higher levels of learning or work through foundation education
  • Enable a wide range of students to complete industry-relevant certificate, diploma and applied degree qualifications
  • Enable local access to appropriate tertiary education
  • Support students with low literacy, language and numeracy skills to improve these skills and progress to higher levels of learning
  • Work with industry to ensure that vocational learning meets industry needs

In addition to these core roles and expectations, ITPs advance TES priorities according to the needs of their catchment areas. For smaller ITPs this often involves helping learners to move on to higher levels of learning at other institutions. Others deliver higher levels of learning and undertake applied vocational research.

The Government expects ITPs to respond to the needs of their local catchments, with particular focus on the priority groups identified in the TES (Māori, Pasifika and those aged under 25 years). ITPs contribute to TES priorities through:

ITP highlights

In 2013 ITP sector highlights included:

ITP performanceTop

In 2013, the trend for increasing enrolments in higher levels of study continued across the ITP sector

The ITP sector received $594 million of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding in 2013 (22% of the total). The sector performed strongly on some key measures:

Operating environment

The ITP sector faced several challenges in 2013, including:

In addition, some ITPs faced ongoing challenges from the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Participation

ITPs provided tertiary education to 121,861 students in 2013, comprising 63,088 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) eligible for funding through the Student Achievement Component (SAC) (see figure 26).5 The ITP sector delivered six percent fewer overall EFTS compared with 2012. Over the same period the ITP sector also had 1,983 EFTS (2,630 students) enrolled in Youth Guarantee programmes, 553 Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) placements6 and 7,595 full-fee-paying foreign international EFTS (12,258 students). International enrolments decreased by two percent (122 EFTS) compared with 2012.

Figure 26: ITP enrolments, 2010–13
Figure 26: ITP enrolments, 2010-13 Note:
Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities data relates to trainees with a placement start date during the year. Individuals who enrolled in more than one programme will be counted in each programme. As of 2012 Youth Training was combined with Youth Guarantee.

The ITP sector delivered the largest share (38%) of its SAC-eligible EFTS at Levels 3–4, followed by Levels 7–8 (32%) and Levels 5–6 (20%) (see figure 27). In 2013 the trend for increasing enrolments in higher levels of study continued across the ITP sector, with consistent increases over previous years. Participation at Levels 7–8 increased by two percentage points, however, participation at Levels 9–10 dropped slightly to less than one percent of total provision.

The volume of provision at Levels 1–2 has continued to reduce over the past seven years, with a particularly steep drop in 2013 of 35 percent (2,127 EFTS) compared with 2012. This reduction is directly related to the competitive tendering process for provision at these levels, which opened this funding up to Private Training Establishments (PTEs) from 2013 onwards.

Figure 27: ITP enrolments by NZQF level, 2010–13
Figure 27: ITP enrolments by NZQF level, 2010-13

Overall, the distribution of students by field of study did not change significantly compared with 2012 (see figure 28). Across 2013, enrolments continued to increase in Health (17%) making it the largest field of study. While Management and Commerce (14%) remained the second largest field of study it has continued to decline since 2008, with a sharp drop in 2013 (13 percent or 1,105 EFTS). Engineering and Related Technologies (663 EFTS), and Creative Arts (643 EFTS) also decreased.

Figure 28: ITP enrolments by subject, 2012 and 2013
Figure 28: ITP enrolments by subject, 2012 and 2013

In 2013 the volume of enrolments decreased in the ITP sector for each of the ethnic groups, reflecting an overall drop in enrolments (see figure 29). Māori enrolments accounted for 23 percent (up from 22% in 2012) and Pasifika enrolments increased to 11 percent of total ITP enrolments (from 8% in 2012). Enrolments of Asian students decreased in volume (by 426 EFTS) but remained at 10 percent of total enrolments, while the same was true for European enrolments, which dropped by 2,430 EFTS but stayed at 64 percent of total participation across ITPs.

Figure 29: ITP enrolments by ethnicity, 2010–13
Figure 29: ITP enrolments by ethnicity, 2010-13 Note:
Total may exceed total equivalent full-time students or 100 percent as some students identify with more than one ethnicity.

Performance against TES priorities

Performance against the educational performance indicators improved amongst students aged under 25 years, Māori and Pasifika at ITPs

Overall, the ITP sector continued to improve its performance against most of the EPIs in 2013 (see figure 30). The following section highlights important aspects of performance among the TES priority groups, as well as research and financial performance.

Figure 30: ITP participation and achievement, 2012 and 2013
Figure 30: ITP participation and achievement, 2012 and 2013

TES Priority: Increasing the number of young people achieving qualifications at Level 4 and above, particularly degrees

In 2013, participation of under-25-year-olds remained the same as the previous year (see figure 31). Under-25-year-olds accounted for 52 percent of all enrolments across the ITP sector, although the volume of enrolments dropped by 1,979 EFTS. Despite this drop the number of youth enrolments in higher-level study continued to increase (up by 193 EFTS) across Levels 7–10 and accounted for 17 percent of Youth enrolments (up from 16% in 2012).

Youth achievement at ITPs generally improved across EPIs in 2013 with the exception of student progression. Course completion remained at 78 percent, while qualification completion increased (from 51% in 2012 to 66% in 2013) as did student retention (from 64% to 69%). Student progression within Levels 1–4 went down by two percentage points compared with 2012 (down from 45% in 2012 to 43% in 2013).

In general, youth achievement remained at similar levels compared with the previous year, with the most notable increases in qualification completion across all levels of study. Achievement remained particularly strong at Levels 7–8 sitting well above the overall rates on each EPI measure for all youth.

Youth participation increased in targeted programmes thanks to the expansion of the Youth Guarantee fund

Figure 31: ITP participation and achievement by students under 25 years, 2012 and 2013
Figure 31: ITP participation and achievement by students under 25 years, 2012 and 2013

In 2013 youth participation increased in targeted programmes due to the expansion of the Youth Guarantee fund, with 1,983 EFTS (2,630 students) up from 1,990 enrolments in 2012. Educational performance results for Youth Guarantee show 70 percent successful course completion, 60 percent successful qualification completion, 66 percent student retention and 43 percent student progression. From 2013 Youth Guarantee is reported through the Single Data Return (SDR) and aligns with the reporting for SAC-funded enrolments and uses the same EPIs. This means that the performance measures used in previous years are no longer comparable and 2013 forms the baseline year.

TES Priority: Increasing the number of Māori students enjoying success at higher levels

Māori enrolments decreased slightly in terms of volume in 2013 but increased as a proportion of total enrolments to account for 23 percent (from 22% in 2012) of enrolments. Māori enrolments remained at similar proportions across each level of study. Overall, educational achievement for Māori students improved with increases in course completion (from 73% in 2012 to 75% in 2013), qualification completion (from 50% to 65%) and student retention (from 52% to 61%). Student progression within Levels 1–4 dropped fractionally (from 38% in 2012 to 37% in 2013). Māori achievement in 2013 remained below the averages of all ITP students, including under-25-year-olds.

Figure 32: ITP participation and achievement by Māori students, 2012 and 2013
Figure 32: ITP participation and achievement by Māori students, 2012 and 2013

TES Priority: Increasing the number of Pasifika students achieving at higher levels

Pasifika enrolments increased (10% in 2012 to 11% in 2013) in proportion while dropping by 299 EFTS in 2013. The enrolments change reflects the shift in Pasifika students towards degree level and higher programmes (from 26% in 2012 to 29% in 2013). As in 2012 the majority of Pasifika students studied at Levels 3–4 (44% or 2,916 EFTS), followed by Levels 7–8 (29% or 1,801 EFTS).

Educational performance by Pasifika students improved for student retention (from 59% to 62%) while course completion remained unchanged at 73 percent. Qualification completion and student progression dropped by three and two percentage points respectively (see figure 33).

Figure 33: ITP participation and achievement by Pasifika students, 2012 and 2013
Figure 33: ITP participation and achievement by Pasifika students, 2012 and 2013

TES Priority: Strengthening research outcomes

ITPs undertake research that supports vocational learning and work with business and industry to transfer technology to the economy. Across the ITP sector the share and volume of postgraduate enrolments has generally increased in recent years, however, it dropped slightly in 2013 and accounted for one percent (792 EFTS down from 898 EFTS in 2012) of all ITP enrolments (see figure 34).

Figure 34: ITP enrolments by qualification grouping, 2010–2013
Figure 34: ITP enrolments by qualification grouping, 2010-2013

Funding for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is allocated according to three elements: quality evaluation, research degree completions and external research income. ITPs again received two percent of the available PBRF funding in 2013, while accounting for 173 research degree completions and generating $2.3 million in external research income.

Financial performance

Between 2012 and 2013 the ITP sector had a significant decline in financial performance, with net surplus after unusual items falling by $20.8 million (1.66%) to $17.5 million. A reduction in Government funding ($42.8 million) and domestic student fees ($10.9 million) was partly offset by increased international fees and other income, which led to total revenue falling by $29.4 million.

Operating expenditure decreased by $20.8 million as the sector sought to offset revenue reductions. Total assets increased by $100 million, driven by increases in the value of property, plant, equipment and intangibles.

Table 6: Overview of ITP sector financial performance
Key Performance Metrics 2011 2012 2013 TEC Minimum
Guidelines
Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items) 5.1% 3.5% 1.7% 3.0%
Net cashflow from operations 115.2% 113.2% 111.1% 111.0%
Liquid funds 34.2% 26.8% 27.0% 8.0%
3-Year average return on property, plant equipment and intangibles 7.9% 7.2% 5.7% 4.5%
Summary Financial Statements
(NZ$000)
2011 2012 2013 % of 2013
​Category
Revenue        
Total government revenue $628,620 $647,273 $606,095 57%
Domestic student fees $239,799 $247,928 $237,003 22%
International student fees $90,872 $96,494 $99,808 9%
Other income (including research) $93,171 $93,377 $115,621 11%
Total revenue $1,052,462 $1,085,072 $1,058,527 100%
Assets        
Property plant equipment and intangibles $1,564,761 $1,658,441 $1,761,414 83%
Other assets $432,805 $362,708 $359,872 17%
Total Assets $1,997,566 $2,021,149 $2,121,286 100%
Equity (net assets) $1,717,862 $1,760,894 $1,831,976  

Almost all the TEC-allocated funding for ITPs in 2013 went towards Teaching and Learning ($587.8 million or 99% of the total). The rest was allocated to Research ($6.1 million) (see figure 35).

Figure 35: Total ITP Government funding by type, 2013
Figure 35: Total ITP Government funding by type, 2013

Future focus for ITPsTop

ITPs will continue to focus on four key areas in 2013 and beyond to support the TES priorities:

5SAC-eligible EFTS refers to the total number of EFTS delivered, which may differ from the number of the TEC-funded EFTS; reasons include funding caps that mean EFTS delivered above cap are not funded.
6As of 31 December 2013 the Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) fund was disestablished.