Investment Approach Sector Reference Group

Investment Approach Sector Reference Group

Last updated 10 February 2017
Last updated 02/10/2017

This page provides information on the Sector Reference Group (SRG) set up for the Investment Approach, membership of the group and its activities.

The SRG's purpose is to provide early feedback and advice to us on proposed Investment Approach initiatives.

This will help us to:

  • determine whether an initiative is worth pursuing further, and narrow down options
  • ‘knock the rough edges off’ ideas
  • share workable initiatives with the sector for further discussion.

The role of the SRG is to help make engagement with the sector more valuable and meaningful. The next SGR meeting will be on Wednesday, 16 November 2016. 

See who is a member of the Sector Reference Group (PDF, 70 Kb).

Sector Reference Group meetings

16 November 2016

The main discussion themes involved:

  • information and improving choices around school and tertiary study options
  • pathways from school to and through tertiary and into employment
  • using labour market information to inform educational planning and delivery
  • relevance of tertiary education provision
  • measuring value-add
  • TEO capability.

The group once again provided valuable feedback. It thought the information tools had shown significant development since the previous presentation and strongly supported these being made available to TEOs and schools.

The skill-related discussion explored workers being overqualified or underqualified for the jobs they were doing. The group noted that employers seem to want graduates with more soft skills and a future orientation, not just employment in current jobs. SRG members emphasised the importance of life-long learning, with some asking whether we are missing tools to support the development of a “Life Plan” (life goals alongside career goals, where learners can periodically test aspirations and re-tool).

In relation to capability, they suggested that we need to think about TEO’s capability to contribute to an effective system as well as making a difference in their own right, and ensure incentives are in place to encourage TEOs to invest in their own capability.

18 May 2016

The main items for discussion were:

  • tensions around learner choice in the tertiary education system
  • developing a return on investment (ROI) approach and methodology.

The group addressed the two themes. The importance of good information was accentuated, along with changes to the system to strengthen its use. The suggested focus was on lifelong learning, supporting passions and nudging.

Value-add was again emphasised, particularly in the context of making a difference for vulnerable population groups and taking different starting points into account. At the same time, the challenge was given to push people to aim high – getting beyond stereotypes and embedded perceptions.

SRG’s advice was to make sure any calculation of economic returns is nuanced, as there are different circumstances in different regions and areas of provision that earnings data may not account for. Tertiary education produces a wide range of benefits and we should acknowledge these, even if we start with measuring economic outcomes. 

24 February 2016

The main items for discussion were:

  • communicating our major longer-term pieces of work for the Investment Approach in 2016–2018
  • the new business information products we are developing
  • our initial thinking on developing a ROI (return on investment) approach and methodology.

The group provided valuable feedback. Members were supportive of and enthusiastic about the information tools. They were cautiously supportive of our goals and initial thinking around the ROI, but raised a number of issues and questions for us to consider and address.

We have picked up this feedback in the work we are doing and will talk to the sector about it in the coming months.

25 November 2015

We held the first SGR meeting on 25 November 2015.

The main item was a presentation of the key issues and areas of work we are considering for the longer-term Investment Approach, to get the group up to speed and spark discussion.

The group brought up many important ideas and questions, including how to:

  • focus on social, cultural and economic outcomes from tertiary education
  • create a system that enables providers to be innovative and take risks, as well as providing predictability
  • link effectively between the compulsory system, the tertiary system, and employment
  • ensure quality and excellence of teaching and learning
  • measure the ‘value-add’ of tertiary education.