2012 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 2012, the Government funded 18 ITPs across New Zealand to deliver technical, vocational and professional education, and to undertake research, particularly applied and technological research.

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

In 2012, ITPs received $620.9 million23 percent of total government funding for tertiary education organisations

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 first and foremost, 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 2012, ITP sector highlights included:

ITP performanceTop

In 2012, the trend for increasing enrolments in higher levels of study continued across the ITP sector

The ITP sector received $620.9 million of Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding in 2012 (23% of the total). The sector performed strongly in the following measures:

Operating environment

The ITP sector faced several challenges in 2012, including:

Participation

ITPs provided tertiary education to 130,585 students in 2012, comprising 66,886 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) eligible for funding through the Student Achievement Component (SAC) (see figure 26).5 The ITP sector delivered 3 percent more overall EFTS compared with 2011. Over the same period, the ITP sector also had 1,990 students enrolled in Youth Guarantee programmes,6 597 Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) placements and 7,869 full-fee-paying foreign international EFTS (13,578 students). International enrolments increased by 1 percent compared with 2011 and comprised 11 percent of all EFTS delivered by ITPs.

Figure 26: ITP enrolments, 2009–12
Figure 26: ITP enrolments, 2009–12 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.

Unless otherwise stated, the following section describes SAC-eligible EFTS only.

The ITP sector delivered the largest share (36%) of its SAC-eligible EFTS at Levels 3–4, followed by Levels 7–8 (30%) and Levels 5–6 (20%) (see figure 27). In 2012, 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 4 percent and Levels 9–10 by 5 percent.

The volume of provision at Levels 1–2 has continued to reduce over the past six years, with a steep drop in provision of 672 EFTS (–8%) in 2012. Some of this reduction may reflect the impact of a competitive tendering process for provision at these levels.

Figure 27: ITP enrolments by NZQF level, 2009–12
Figure 27: ITP enrolments by NZQF level, 2009–12

Overall, the distribution of students by field of study changed little compared with 2011 (see figure 28). Across 2012, enrolments in Health (16%) took over from Management and Commerce (15%) as the largest field of study in the ITP sector. Across all enrolments, the largest decrease was in Management and Commerce, which fell by 4 percent (360 EFTS) in 2012, while Health increased by 7 percent (710 EFTS).

Figure 28: ITP enrolments by subject, 2011 and 2012
Figure 28: ITP enrolments by subject, 2011 and 2012
In 2012, enrolment volumes increased in the ITP sector for each of the ethnic groups except European students (see figure 29). Māori enrolments accounted for 22 percent (up from 21% in 2011), Pasifika enrolments increased but remained at 8 percent of total ITP enrolments. For the first time since 2009, enrolments of Asian students increased (up by 121 EFTS) but remained at 10 percent of total enrolments. European enrolments dropped fractionally on 2011 numbers (35 EFTS) and continued to account for 64 percent of total participation across ITPs.7

Figure 29: ITP enrolments by ethnicity, 2009–12
Figure 29: ITP enrolments by ethnicity, 2009–12 Note:
Total may exceed total EFTS or 100 percent as some students identify with more than one ethnicity.

Performance against TES priorities

Overall, the ITP sector continued to improve its performance against all of the EPIs in 2012 (see figure 30). The following section highlights important aspects of performance among the TES priority groups of youth, Māori and Pasifika learners, as well as research and financial performance.

Figure 30: ITP participation and achievement, 2011 and 2012
Figure 30: ITP participation and achievement, 2011 and 2012

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

In 2012, participation of under-25-year-olds continued to increase (see figure 31). This group grew to 52 percent of all enrolments across the ITP sector, up from 51 percent in 2011, which equated to an increase of 1,527 EFTS. As in the previous year, youth enrolments continued to grow in higher-level study, with an increase of 570 EFTS across Levels 7–10 in 2012.

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

Youth achievement at ITPs improved across all EPIs in 2012. Course completion increased (up from 76% in 2011 to 78% in 2012) as did qualification completion (up from 57% in 2011 to 63% in 2012), student retention (up from 57% in 2011 to 65% in 2012) and student progression for Levels 1–4 (up from 39% in 2011 to 45% in 2012).

In general, youth achievement improved, compared with the previous year, across each level of study for almost all of the EPIs; this was especially the case for higher-level study.

Figure 31: ITP participation and achievement by students under 25 years, 2011 and 2012
Figure 31: ITP participation and achievement by students under 25 years, 2011 and 2012

In 2012, youth participation was also evident in targeted programmes, with 1,990 students enrolled in the Youth Guarantee scheme. The educational performance of Youth Guarantee students showed that an average of 73 credits was achieved and 0.60 qualifications were completed in 2012. There were also 597 FFTO placements, of which 33 percent progressed to further education and 31 percent progressed to employment.

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

Māori enrolments increased by 8 percent in 2012 and accounted for 22 percent of total ITP enrolments. Māori enrolments increased across each level of study but predominantly at Levels 3–4 (up by 985 EFTS). Educational achievement by Māori students improved across each of the four EPIs across each level of study compared with 2011 (see figure 32). Overall, course completion increased (up from 70% in 2011 to 73% in 2012) as did qualification completion (up from 54% in 2011 to 61% in 2012), student retention (up from 46% in 2011 to 54% in 2012) and student progression for Levels 1–4 (up from 32% in 2011 to 38% in 2012). Despite these positive increases, Māori achievement in 2012 remained below the averages of all ITP students, including the student groups of Pasifika and youth.

Figure 32: ITP participation and achievement by Māori students, 2011 and 2012
Figure 32: ITP participation and achievement by Māori students, 2011 and 2012

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

A 7 percent increase in Pasifika enrolments at ITPs (710 EFTS) meant that, in 2012, Pasifika enrolments accounted for 10 perfect of total ITP enrolments. The majority of Pasifika students studied at Levels 3–4 (42% or 2,937 EFTS), followed by Levels 7–8 (26% or 1,801 EFTS). Pasifika enrolments in degree-level and higher programmes increased 15 percent (279 EFTS) from 2011.

Educational performance by Pasifika students improved, compared with 2011, across each of the four EPIs (see figure 33). The largest increases were for qualification completion (up from 52% in 2011 to 62% in 2012) and student progression (up from 33% in 2011 to 43% in 2012), while course completion also increased (up from 71% in 2011 to 73% in 2012) as did student retention (up from 50% in 2011 to 59% in 2012).

Figure 33: ITP participation and achievement by Pasifika students, 2011 and 2012
Figure 33: ITP participation and achievement by Pasifika students, 2011 and 2012

TES Priority: Strengthening research outcomes

ITPs undertake research that supports vocational learning, and work with business and industry to transfer technology to the economy.

The volume of post-graduate enrolments increased at ITPs

Across the ITP sector, the share and volume of post-graduate enrolments has steadily increased over recent years (see figure 34). In 2012, post-graduate enrolments accounted for 1 percent (898 EFTS) of all ITP enrolments.

Figure 34: ITP enrolments by qualification grouping, 2009–12
Figure 34: ITP enrolments by qualification grouping, 2009–12

Funding for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is allocated according to three elements: quality evaluation, research degree completion and external research income. ITPs received 2 percent of the indicative PBRF funding in 2012, while accounting for 122 research degree completions and generating $2.4 million in external research income.

Financial performanceTop

Financial performance across the ITP sector met the TEC’s recommended 3 percent surplus target (after unusual and non-recurring items). In 2012, the sector achieved an overall net surplus of 3.5 percent, down on 5.1 percent in 2011. Total operating revenue increased in 2012, with total government funding up $19.6 million due to an increase in targeted student-based educational funding. Total operating expenditure increased by $43.7 million, more than offsetting the increase in revenue resulting in a decrease in profitability across the sector. ITP balance sheets remained strong but with a decline in liquidity levels (see table 5).

Table 5: Overview of ITP sector financial performance*
Key performance metrics 2010 2011 2012 TEC minimum
guidelines
Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items) 7.1% 5.1% 3.5% 3.0%
Net cashflow from operations 117.5% 115.2% 113.2% 111.0%
Liquid funds 34.0% 35.0% 27.0% 8.0%
3-Year average return on property, plant, equipment and intangibles 8.4% 8.9% 7.2% 4.5%
Summary financial statements
(NZ$000)
2010 2011 2012 % of 2012
category
Revenue:        
Total government revenue $679,186 $631,373 $650,982 60%
Domestic student fees $233,132 $241,544 $247,928 23%
International student fees $83,538 $90,872 $96,494 9%
Other income
(including research)
$94,782 $89,983 $93,377 9%
Total revenue $1,090,638 $1,053,772 $1,088,781 100%
Assets:        
Property, plant, equipment and intangibles $1,532,137 $1,574,577 $1,664,872 82%
Other assets $393,433 $424,892 $356,274 18%
Total assets $1,925,570 $1,999,469 $2,021,146 100%
Equity (net assets) $1,674,101 $1,719,808 $1,760,891  

* This summary is based on data submitted to the TEC by individual ITPs as part of the TEC’s financial monitoring framework.

Almost all TEC-allocated funding for ITPs in 2012 went towards Teaching and Learning ($613.7 million or 99% of the total). The rest was spread across Research ($6.2 million) and Capability ($1.0 million) (see figure 35).

Figure 35: Total ITP government funding by type, 2012
Figure 35: Total ITP government funding by type, 2011

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 TEC-funded EFTS; reasons include funding caps that mean EFTS delivered above cap are not funded.
6More information on the participation and performance of Youth Guarantee-funded places can be found on the TEC website.
7Total may exceed total EFTS or 100 percent as some students identify with more than one ethnicity.