The governance of TEIs

Te kaitiakitanga o ngā pūtahi mātauranga matua

Last updated 29 November 2023
Last updated 29 November 2023

This section sets out the role and responsibilities of councils, how they are appointed, and their composition.

It covers the role of the Minister responsible for tertiary education in appointing council members, and our role in supporting TEI governance. 

It also provides information on how to manage conflicts of interest, how to register your interest in being a TEI council member, and a range of resources. 

How tertiary education institution councils are governed

TEI councils are responsible for the development and good governance of their organisation. They must balance upholding the autonomy and academic freedom of their organisation with being publicly accountable.

TEI councils are expected to take a strategic and leadership role in guiding their organisations to ensure they continue to improve their performance and are responsive to change and opportunity.

Effective councils provide clear strategic leadership and set and monitor the achievement of challenging targets. They have well-informed members with a good understanding of stakeholders and their institution’s strengths and areas for improvement. Effective councils challenge the management team about the institution’s performance as well as self-reviewing or reflecting on their own performance on a regular basis.

Being a council member is an opportunity for people with the right skills and experience to make a significant contribution to tertiary education in New Zealand and guide decision-making that will benefit not only the institution itself, but also its learners and the wider community.

Role of TEI councils

How are councils appointed?

The Minister responsible for tertiary education is responsible for appointing three to four members of each council. All other council members are appointed by the council in accordance with its own arrangements.

The composition of tertiary education institution councils

How you can contribute as a council member of a tertiary education institution

The Ministerial appointment process, and Ministerial expectations

The Minister and the TEC also expect councils to identify and manage any conflicts of interest appropriately.

How TEI councils should manage conflicts of interest

What is the role of the TEC in TEI governance?

We find and short-list suitable candidates for council members and manage the appointment process on behalf of the Minister.  Our role is also to monitor and evaluate a TEI council’s capability.

We also:

  • advise the Minister on governance matters including fees for council members
  • provide information and support for councils to support good governance. 

For more information, read:

Governance guide for council members

We publish a governance guide for TEI council members that includes:

  • the legislative framework for TEIs and their councils
  • the role of tertiary sector government agencies
  • the and its priorities
  • TEC’s process for TEIs
  • information about accountability and our of TEIs.

Governance Guide for council members of tertiary education institutions (PDF 3.4 MB)

More information about tertiary education council governance

If you are interested in becoming a TEI council member read:

How you can contribute as a TEI council member

If you are a new council member and want to understand your role and its context, we suggest you read: