Celebrate new thinking for role of NZQA

Opinion // 22.11.2016 // Curated by Ed.

Let’s Celebrate New Thinking on NZQA’s Role

Ed. Collective is celebrating the promise of new thinking about the role of NZQA.

Last week, when students around the country were crammed into exam rooms, Sue Suckling, Chair of NZQA announced to attendees of SingularityU NZ Summit that “The era of qualifications as we know it is over.”

Luc Shorter, Ed. Collective Executive Director said that the organisation is delighted to hear Ms Suckling challenging the status quo and that learners and employers are desperate for change in this area.  “The room erupted in cheers throughout her speech.  That tells you there’s a growing number of people who think we can do better than we are”.

“Ed. Collective believes in a talented, connected and extraordinary New Zealand and we need to keep pace with the world”, he said.

“Too much of the system is designed for the system – not the learner.  Learners and employers need to be at the centre of education service design and the outputs it delivers.”

Ed. Collective engages with a range of learners, employers, institutions and government through its research, partnerships and services.  Some of the most recent findings show that a radical change to NZ’s mostly linear approach to education and qualifications is desperately sought by learner and employees.

An Ed. Collective survey in Auckland of 651 under 25-year-old job-seekers earlier this year found that they rated qualifications behind such factors as experience, networking and job-search skills as being most helpful in finding a job.

In another recent Ed. Collective survey of over 500 secondary school students in the Bay of Plenty, nearly 80% believed they should be able to gain qualifications through their work experience.

Ed. Collective has also interviewed dozens of employers and a recurring theme is that tertiary graduates are not getting the knowledge and skills they need from their education.

Ms Suckling spoke about the importance of competency in creativity, collaboration and adaptability as being the skills for the future, and Ed. Collective agrees.  These are skills that many of today’s learners are developing despite the system not because of it.

Ed Collective Board Member and venture expert, Jo Allum said, “it is not the role of a regulatory body to be setting direction here; it is up to the community – you, me and organisations like Ed. Collective.”