Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology has released its 2022 Te Pūrongo ā-Tau | Annual Report, the first to capture all 25 entities brought together to support improved learner and employer outcomes as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE).
During the 2022 calendar year, 16 former Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), eight Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) and Work Based Learning (WBL) transitioned into Te Pūkenga, making it the country’s largest tertiary education and training provider.
Te Pūkenga Chief Executive Peter Winder says the report records significant achievements in addressing the skills needs of ākonga (learners) and employers.
“Ākonga remain at the centre of everything we do. By bringing together on-the-job, on campus, and online vocational education and training through a unified network available in all regions we are enabling more learners to gain the skills, training and qualifications they need, faster and with less debt,” Mr Winder says.
Key highlights for 2022 included:
- A total of 270,993 learners (on campus, online and on-the-job)
- 48,037 graduates
- An ākonga satisfaction rate of 89%
- 70.4% of Māori learners completed their courses and 77.2% of all courses were completed
- Continuation of work to integrate programmes and delivery approaches, meaning more than 350 programmes are being replaced by 51 unified programmes across Te Pūkenga in 2023
- Establishment of significant strategic partnerships with industry and employers, including New Zealand Defence Force and Kāinga Ora
- Continued strengthening of partnerships with hapū, iwi and Māori to support closer alignment with need, and higher participation and course completion rates
- Publication of a second iteration of Te Pae Tawhiti: Te Tiriti o Waitangi Excellence Framework, ensuring Te Tiriti o Waitangi excellence is embedded into all policies, processes, systems and practices, consistent with the requirements of our founding Charter
- Development of the Equity and Ākonga Success Strategy, after extensive consultation and co-design with ākonga and kaimahi, to support a unified national network meeting current and evolving educational and training needs
- Development of Whiria Te Ako as the framework for how programmes are designed, and to facilitate learning, teaching and rangahau research
- Completion of phase one (of three) of organisation structural designs through the establishment of a new leadership team and business unit structure.
“The report illustrates the size and scale of our network, and the real potential we have to build on this in delivering significant gains in vocational and applied learning that better meet the needs of our communities and regions.”
The report records a deficit across the network of $80.353 million. This is higher than forecast but considerably lower than the projected $280m deficit that the ITP sector was expected to be facing in 2022 under the old model if there had been no changes.
“In common with the wider tertiary education sector, we faced falling enrolments which impacted our forecast revenue. Decline in international revenue was particularly significant given the impacts of Covid-19 and the residual impact of closed borders for some of this period. We are pleased to report strong growth in international student enrolments this year and expect this to continue to improve,” Mr Winder says.
The variance from forecast is largely due to gains on property sales not being realised within the expected timeframe (a risk which was noted as part of the reforecast), and a significant impairment booked at Whitireia-WelTec. The impairment is a one-off non-cash item reflected in the deficit.
“The creation of Te Pūkenga is a once-in-a-generation transformation allowing us to deliver new approaches and benefits at scale. It is also large and complex. Financial sustainability remains a key focus which we are addressing through increased international enrolments, property rationalisation, greater efficiencies and reducing duplication through a unified organisational structure.
“We have budgeted for a further deficit in 2023 and anticipate being on the path to profitability from 2024,” Mr Winder says.
Reflecting the scale of the new organisation, this year’s audit process involved significant complexity, with 17 subsidiaries each requiring two separate audits to account for their activity prior to and after disestablishment date, year-end audit of Te Pūkenga group (the parent of the subsidiaries), as well as challenges with the timeliness of third-party verification of revenue and revenue recognition.
This also resulted in a qualified opinion from the Office of the Auditor General on the financial statements of Te Pūkenga in relation to the parent statement of cashflows, and delayed the annual report beyond its intended release date of early May, Mr Winder says.
He says Te Pūkenga takes seriously the need for, and is acting on, embedding improved information systems and controls within the new single organisation for the coming year. You can view the full 2022 Te Pūrongo ā-Tau | Annual Report here.