Productivity commission

The report of the Productivity Commission on the Tertiary Education Sector “New Models of Tertiary Education” is complacent.

The report observes that in the decade from 2001 to 2011, the ratio of non-academic and academic staff in the public tertiary educational system rose from about equal to six non-academics to five academics. In fact the number of academic staff has fallen slightly between 2005 and 2011 while non-academic numbers have risen.

According to the Productivity Commission the current tertiary education system is blocking innovation. But in its recent report that promised to put forward New Models of Tertiary Education it delivered none. Its failure should not end the debate. There is an urgent need to bring about change

For more than a year the Productivity Commission has been working on its report, New Models of Tertiary Education (released last week), with the aim of showing us how we can have a more innovative tertiary sector. The report will not make the best seller list – but it is worth a read.

A report on social services by the Productivity Commission raises serious problems about the quality of analysis in New Zealand.

There is a widely held perception that the Productivity Commission, which makes recommendations to the government on how to increase productivity, is neoliberal. Partly that is because the commission was set up at the instigation of ACT but that does not mean that its analysis is necessarily neoliberal.