Education providers and industry have joined forces in their quest to develop more meaningful pathways for Kiwi learners.
Representatives from a wide range of schools, government agencies, early childhood centres and tertiary institutes descended upon AUT’s Auckland South Campus last Friday, to take part in Educate 2016, a conference exploring collaborative ways of delivering better educational and employment opportunities for all New Zealanders.
Mark Worsop, Divisional General Manager of the ACG Tertiary & Careers Group, believes that by working together, far greater results can be achieved.
“We have to work more closely in partnership with both industry and tertiary education providers to ensure students have meaningful pathways to choose from,” he said during his opening address.
“We have some great partnerships already, but the sector as a whole is focussed on a competitive funding environment and on the protection of IP. Imagine if these weren’t barriers and we shared all of our successes and failures, supported each other’s staff and students, and shared innovation and best practice openly. Imagine how much more relevant our sector would be to industry, imagine how engaged and effective our staff would be, and imagine how much more successful our students would be.”
The conference, which was organised by the ACG Tertiary & Careers Group in partnership with AUT, provided an opportunity to get the ball rolling.
“We are not going to change the sector overnight, but let’s start the journey here, today. Engage as much as you can, talk to as many people as you can and get as many business cards as you can. Today is just the start – it’s what happens after this that really matters.”
The conference theme ‘Leading Excellence, Innovation and Change’ was explored by several high-profile speakers including AUT senior lecturer in educational leadership, Dr Howard Youngs, Mira Mautner (Early Childhood Council), Sandra Collins (Senior Education Evaluator, Education Review Office), Huia Hanlen (Secondary/Tertiary Lead, Ministry of Education) and Keith Marshall (Chief Executive, Careers New Zealand). There were interactive workshops, brainstorming sessions, and plenty of opportunities for educators to engage with their peers.
Monique Le Marque, event organiser and Regional Manager at ACG Tertiary & Careers Group, said although quality is perceived differently by different stakeholders, it was vital that everyone in the sector strived to exceed the set quality benchmarks for industry.
“It was extremely valuable to unpack each of the values of leadership, excellence and innovation, and discuss what they mean to us as practitioners in a rapidly changing global environment,” said Monique.
“Participants were able to build on the shared understanding we have about the need to be reflective, innovative and creative to order to make a real difference to the lives of our learners – and it is of course these learners who are at the heart of the matter for any educational organisation.”