Polytechnic Tutor Training After Learning for Life: A Study of the Effects of Funding Policy Changes
This thesis presents the findings of an investigation into the effects of a change in government policy for the funding of polytechnic tutor training in New Zealand after 1990. The new policy arose from Learning for Life: Two, and was part of a major reform of the administration and funding of all tertiary education and training in New Zealand. The main intentions of Learning for Life: Two were to make individual institutions more autonomous, through the decentralisation of management and funding, and so to create increased equity and excellence in tertiary education. From 1973 to 1990, tutor training had been directly funded by the Department of Education; the 1990 Tutor Training Policy required each polytechnic thenceforward to provide for tutor training from its annual bulk funding. Comparative data was collected by survey and interview, relating to polytechnics' treatment of initial tutor training in 1990 and 1993, and a more detailed case study was carried out at one polytechnic that had made substantial changes in practice. In 1990 all new tutors had been entitled to 12 weeks of initial training at one of three regional centres, with all training costs met centrally, including travel, accommodation and relief staffing. Analysis of the findings showed that by 1993, despite some transitional funding protection for the regional centres, tutor training provision varied considerably around the country, as polytechnics made local decisions about funding and implemented various forms of training delivery. When the emerging trends and effects were compared with the policy intentions of Learning for Life, it was concluded that the equity and access intentions had not been achieved consistently around the country in respect of tutor training. Longer term research was recommended into the effects of changes in tutor training on teaching quality in polytechnics.