2013 Performance

Private training establishments

The private training establishment (PTE) sector plays an important role in responding to industry need for graduates with specific skills. It offers education that is not provided by other tertiary sectors, mostly in specific vocational niches at certificate and diploma level.

In 2013 PTEs received $324.7 million – 12 percent of total Government funding for tertiary education organisations

PTEs are operated by a range of companies, trusts and other entities and offer post-school education or vocational training.

They are diverse in their scale of operation, location, ethnic makeup, culture and areas of educational expertise. Because of this, they respond to the varying needs of learners, industries, employers, Māori and Pasifika people, and other communities and stakeholders.

In 2013, 339 PTEs across New Zealand received over $324.7 million of Government funding. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) allocated funding to the sector mainly through the Student Achievement Component (SAC), Youth Guarantee, and Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) funds.

Youth Guarantee programmes aim to improve the educational achievement of targeted young people by enabling them to participate in a variety of vocational courses free of charge. In 2013 these programmes focused on enabling young people under the age of 18 to obtain a New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) qualification and engage in further education and training. From 2014, 18- and 19-year-olds with low or no qualifications are also eligible to participate in Youth Guarantee programmes.

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

Core roles Government expectations
  • Offer flexible and responsive education programmes
  • ​Focus on specific areas of study
  • Enable students to complete high-quality qualifications that lead to employment or higher-level education
  • Deliver tailored learning opportunities, such as marae and iwi-based provision and Pasifika learning environments
  • ​Provide specialised qualifications and training

PTEs contribute to the Government’s TES priorities by:

PTE highlights

In 2012, 18 PTEs successfully applied for competitive SAC Level 1 and 2 funding for 2013 and 2014. Approximately $12 million was shifted from the institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITP) sector to the PTE sector through this competitive process. The sector began delivering this fees-free provision, which leads to NZQF qualifications, in 2013.

The differential between SAC Level 3 and above funding rates for PTEs and Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) was reduced from 2013 (from 2014 the funding rates have been equalised).

To ensure the Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD’s) spending on strategies to reduce benefit dependency is effective, well targeted and delivers the right outcomes to support the Government’s welfare reform strategy, FFTO (funded through Vote: Social Development and administered by the TEC on behalf of MSD), ceased at the end of 2013. The change affected 108 PTEs (plus three schools and seven ITPs).

To maintain regional levels of foundation education provision in 2014 comparable with 2013, additional funding was available through MSD’s Training For Work provision and by the TEC through Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN), ILN English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Youth Guarantee provision.

The TEC implemented a pilot assessment of the financial viability of the TEC’s largest-funded PTEs and, following this, consulted with the sector on draft prudential financial standards.

PTEs overall improved their results on the educational performance indicators

PTE performanceTop

PTEs received $324.7 million (12% of all Government funding for TEOs) in 2013, with almost all going towards teaching and learning. The PTE sector continued to improve against the educational performance indicators (EPIs).

Operating environment

Key factors that affected the operating environment of the sector in 2013 included:


In 2013 the PTE sector provided a variety of tertiary education, from foundation education at Levels 1–2 to degree and postgraduate study at Levels 7–10. PTEs enrolled 48,070 students, which equates to 27,889 SAC-eligible EFTS. In addition to SAC-eligible enrolments, there were 7,037 Youth Guarantee students, 8,550 FFTO students and 6,602 full-fee paying foreign EFTS enrolled across the PTE sector (see figure 45).

Figure 45: PTE enrolments, 2010–13
Figure 45: PTE enrolments, 2010-13 Note:
Youth Training and Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities data relate to trainees with a placement start-date during the year. Individuals who enrolled in more than one programme will be counted in each programme.

There was a large increase in participation at Levels 1–2

The largest proportion of education delivered across the PTE sector in 2013 was at Levels 3–4 (47%), followed by Levels 5–6 (30%) and Levels 7–8 (16%). There was a large increase at Levels 1–2 (a five percentage point increase on 2012 levels and 1,442 EFTS) primarily owing to the introduction of the SAC competitive Levels 1–2 process, which opened up SAC funding to PTEs that were previously ineligible while enrolments at all other Levels saw a slight decrease.

Figure 46: PTE enrolment by NZQF level, 2010–13
Figure 46: PTE enrolment by NZQF level, 2010-13

The majority of delivery in the PTE sector was in Management and Commerce (21%), Society and Culture (15%), Education (12%) and Food, Hospitality and Personal Services, and Creative Arts (both at 11%) (see figure 47). Most PTE enrolments were intramural (84%).

Figure 47: PTE enrolment by subject, 2012 and 2013
Figure 47: PTE enrolment by subject, 2012 and 2013

Under Youth Guarantee and FFTO programmes, the PTE sector delivered foundation education at Levels 1–3, mainly in the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury regions.

PTEs attracted a relatively high proportion of Māori and Pasifika students, highlighting the sector’s responsiveness to the Government’s emphasis on these TES-priority groups (see figure 48).

Figure 48: PTE enrolment by ethnicity, 2010–13
Figure 48: PTE enrolment 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

Participation across the PTE sector increased in 2013, including the participation for TES priority groups

The following section briefly highlights key aspects of the sector’s performance against the TES. Unless otherwise stated, all enrolment and achievement measures refer to SAC-eligible EFTS only.

Figure 49: PTE participation and achievement, 2012–13
Figure 49: PTE participation and achievement, 2012–13

Participation across the PTE sector increased in 2013, including the participation for TES priority groups. Overall, in terms of educational achievement, the PTE sector improved its performance in 2013. Course completion, student retention and student progression each improved, while qualification completions dropped by four percentage points compared with the previous year.

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

Participation by under-25-year-olds increased by one percentage point compared with 2012 and made up 54 percent of total enrolments (see figure 50). Delivery for youth was primarily across Levels 3–6 (82%) and Levels 7–8 (13%).

Course completions and student retention for youth remained at 2012 levels, while student progression increased by one percentage point to 33 percent. There was a decrease of five percentage points to 75 percent for qualification completions.

Figure 50: PTE participation and achievement by students under 25 years, 2012 and 2013
Figure 50: PTE participation and achievement by students under 25 years, 2012 and 2013

Youth participation in higher level programmes decreased from 2012, largely owing to the decreased enrolments across Levels 5–6 (from 4,914 EFTS in 2012 to 4,667 EFTS in 2013). The increase in youth was driven by an increase at Levels 1–2 which went up by 707 EFTS owing to the introduction of competitive delivery at Levels 1–2 and the opening up of delivery to PTEs at this level.

In 2013 the PTE sector also had 5,196 Youth Guarantee EFTS (7,037 students). Course completions for Youth Guarantee provision in 2013 were 57 percent, while qualification completions were 49 percent. Across the PTE sector, there were also 7,026 FFTO placements, of which 19 percent progressed to further education and 28 percent to employment.

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

In 2013 Māori made up 29 percent of total PTE enrolments, a one percentage point increase from the previous two years. The volume of Māori enrolments increased by 318 EFTS, mainly across Levels 1–2.

Educational performance for Māori showed an increase in course completions (from 75% in 2012 to 78% in 2013) and student retention (from 59% to 62%) but a decrease in student progression. Qualification completions remained steady at 2012 levels of 74 percent (see figure 51).

Figure 51: PTE participation and achievement by Māori students, 2012 and 2013
Figure 51: PTE participation and achievement by Māori students, 2012 and 2013

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

Youth, Māori and Pasifika students’ educational performance improved in 2013 across the PTE sector

Pasifika enrolments continued to increase in 2013 to account for 18 percent of total PTE enrolments, with an increase of 352 EFTS. Pasifika enrolments shifted away from Levels 5 and above (down 98 EFTS), towards Levels 1–3 (up 459 EFTS).

The educational performance for Pasifika showed an increase in student progression (34% in 2012 to 36% in 2013) while qualification completions remained steady at 75 percent. There was a slight decrease within course completions of one percentage point and a decrease from 70 percent in 2012 to 65 percent in 2013 for student retention (see figure 52).

Figure 52: PTE participation and achievement by Pasifika students, 2012 and 2013
Figure 52: PTE participation and achievement by Pasifika students, 2012 and 2013

Financial performance

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority is the government agency responsible for monitoring the financial viability of individual PTEs. The TEC engages with PTEs but does not systematically collect financial information.

In 2013 the sector received $324.7 million in Government funding from the TEC, with almost all the funds allocated for teaching and learning ($310.4 million) (see figure 53).

Figure 53: Total PTE Government funding by type, 2013
Figure 53: Total PTE Government funding by type, 2013

Future focus for PTEsTop

The PTE sector will continue to play an important role in: