Learner success approach projects

Learner success approach projects

Last updated 1 May 2020
Last updated 1 May 2020

We are partnering with tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to test the Learner Success Framework.

These projects test components of the Learner Success Framework (PDF, 944 Kb). Lessons from these projects will be shared with all TEOs and we will be progressively uploading tools and information for you to use.

Funding for partnership

The Minister of Education’s letter of delegation (PDF, 176 Kb) notes that we have up to $2 million spend on new approaches to engage learners with higher needs and to support them to achieve in tertiary education.  

TEOs interested in testing the learner success approach and framework were invited to submit their project proposals to us. Each TEO was expected to match the TEC’s contribution as part of our expectation of funding.

Our Governance Group, set up to assess and monitor the projects, assessed the applications and made recommendations for funding.

We assessed proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Context and problem definition– applicant can describe how the project fits within the TEO’s wider strategic approach to equity and can articulate what the problems or barriers are at the moment.
  • Alignment – applicant demonstrates clear link between project goals and learner success framework.
  • Funding and budget – applicant clearly describes how the funding will be used and its willingness to match the TEC’s investment.
  • Governance – applicant can articulate the project governance structure which include senior-level members and representatives from across the organisation.
  • Deliverables and timeframes – applicant has clear and appropriate deliverables and these were reasonable in the timeframes described.
  • Evaluation and sharing lessons learned – applicant can describe the approach to evaluation, and is willing to share evaluation findings and lessons learned from the project with the TEC and publicly.

In addition to testing the learner success framework, we have also provided funding to TEOs to support their capability to undertake this work and to develop best practice guidelines.

The list of successful partners and their projects are outlined below.

Our Partners

Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec)

Wintec was the first and longest running of our partner projects. It has tested the first four phases of the Learner Success Framework, from diagnostic to strategy development. Using human-centred design methodologies, Wintec has undertaken a deep and comprehensive student journey mapping exercise. Their approach has given Wintec rich insights into learner needs, and formed the basis of a new operating model for the whole of the organisation.

Total funding - $430,000 plus an additional $100,000 to work with the US organisation Achieving the Dream (ATD) to support TEO coaching activities.

Project commenced 30 June 2019 and finished in December 2019. 100% of funding has been paid.

University of Waikato (Waikato)

We have partnered with Waikato, whose project focus is to create a robust system of learner insights and building analytical capability. This will allow them to identify teaching and learning gaps, trends, and patterns. Near-time learner insights will allow for greater access to near-time data. This includes building responsive systems that allow pro-active approaches to strengthen student success. They will also undertake student journey mapping and collect qualitative student voice data to gain a holistic and robust view of students and key attrition points.

Total funding - $297,500

  • Project commenced 30 June 2019. To date, 80% of the total funding has been paid.

Te Wānanga o Raukawa (Raukawa)

Changing learner demographics and demand has resulted in Raukawa undertaking a radical shift in the way it designed and delivered its education offerings, moving most of its content to a blended delivery model. We have partnered with Raukawa to support them undertake this business transformation project using a model which closely aligns with the Learner Success Framework. This provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to test the framework in a mātauranga Māori context.

Total funding - $375,000

  • Project commenced 26 July 2019. To date, 75% of the total funding has been paid.

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT)

We are partnering with MIT to test the first four phases of the Learner Success Framework, from diagnostic to strategy development. The project builds on MIT’s successful Hōkūle’a Project which increased retention of Māori and Pacific learners through the early assessment of needs and provision of holistic support (academic, pastoral and cultural). MIT will research specific approaches and interventions utilised at Georgia State University. This includes: design and application of ‘meta-majors’ to reduce confusion in learner subject choice, and technology options to support early alerts.

Total funding - $331,200

  • Project commenced 31 January 2020. To date 33% of the total funding has been paid.


Additional Learner Success projects

Under this area of work, we are advancing some additional projects that seek to improve learner outcomes. These are detailed below.

University of Otago

We are partnering with the University of Otago to re-develop Kia Ōrite – the NZ Code of Practice for an Inclusive Tertiary Education Environment for Students with Impairments. The project includes examining the current Code and bringing it into alignment with emerging research on international best practice for learner with disabilities, developing new content in consultation with the sector, preparation of accessible content for online dissemination, and support for training workshops on the Code.