Whitireia and WelTec are undertaking a joint change programme E Tū Ma Tātou – Our People. Our Challenges. Our Future. – to strengthen the provision of quality vocational education and training across the Wellington region and restore our financial position.
This change programme has been underway since November 2018. It entails several initiatives:
First announced in November 2018, we have made significant progress towards ensuring Whitireia and WelTec are strong, sustainable institutes.
Recently we reviewed the portfolio of programmes we offer. We’re also continuing to explore how we can deliver our programmes in a more flexible way to enable students to more easily study after work, while also being efficient.
We have also continued to look at how we can be more efficient and effective across our two institutes, including reviewing our staffing and use of buildings. We are currently consulting with teaching staff on a proposal to ensure we’re the right size to teach our programmes, in light of falling enrolments.
We’re excited to be offering a strong, sustainable portfolio of programmes and majors for 2020 that reflects student demand and industry need. Students and their families can be confident that they continue to have access to a broad range of programmes ranging from entry level to post graduate, across IT, Engineering, Business, Health, Hospitality, Construction, Creative and Social Sciences.
Our 2020 portfolio includes a number of exciting new programmes, including a new Bachelor of Applied Business and Management; Bachelor of IT; Bachelor of Counselling and Addictions Practice; and we are developing a Diploma in Youth Work.
To ensure these programmes reflect best practice, some qualifications will be replaced with new programmes. And, as we do every year, there are some that won’t be offered for new enrolments.
We have made a series of changes over the past 18 months to be more efficient and effective in how we work. These changes are an important part of ensuring we are viable, sustainable institutes.
We are currently consulting with our teaching staff on a proposal to reduce the number of teaching staff in response to falling enrolments. We are funded on the number of students we teach, not the number of programmes offered. With fewer students, it’s necessary to review how we can best deliver our programmes to students more efficiently while still maintaining the high quality of programmes that we offer.
These proposals include a proposal to not offer Early Childhood Education next year to existing students. We have contacted our ECE students and assured them that if the final decision is as proposed, we will actively work to support them into an alternative Wellington provider for 2020.
We expect to make decisions in late September, once we’ve considered feedback.
One of the objectives of the Government’s reform of vocational is to create a strong and sustainable vocational education sector. It is essential that we return our institutes to a strong financial position, in order to transition effectively in to the new Institute and ensure we’re delivering quality vocational education and training that meets the needs of our students, industry and communities. The Minister has reiterated that this must be a priority for us.
Originally our change programme included a proposal to merge our two institutes. Shortly after the Minister released his Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) proposals, the Minister advised that while there was a clear rationale for Whitireia and WelTec merging, given his proposed reforms, it was not in the best interests of the tertiary education system to progress with a merger. We support the Minister’s decision to not proceed with the merger. The scale of reform he is contemplating is far more significant than we anticipated when we submitted our business case for merging our two institutes.
Once the Minister has made a decision about the wider reforms for the sector through RoVE, we will develop a programme to be ready to respond. In the interim, our focus is on returning our two institutes to a strong financial position so we can deliver effective, quality vocational education and training for our students and meet the needs of our communities and stakeholders. The Minister has reiterated that this must be a priority for us.
The following documents were prepared to support our efforts to engage with staff, students and stakeholders about the scope of E Tū Ma Tātou, including the proposal to merge. These documents are provided for transparency.
Read the Overview of E Tū Ma Tātou (published November 2018)
Read the Summary of Feedback on our proposal to merge (published December 2018)
Read the Minister’s letter declining the proposal to merge (published March 2019)
Read our response to the Minister’s decision on merger
Read our media release on our proposals to reduce the size of our teaching staff