Community Education in New Zealand: Entrepreneurship Programs Illustrating Tensions and Challenges

Community Education in New Zealand: Entrepreneurship Programs Illustrating Tensions and Challenges

Samuel P. G. Airy (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Gavin T. L. Brown (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5861-3.ch010
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The U.S. community college model does not currently operate in New Zealand. In addition to university and vocational programs at polytechnics, further education within the community is provided through open-entry, low-cost, “night-school” courses run from various high schools and community centers. Courses once covered “general interest” subjects to basic academic and vocational skills with significant government subsidies. However, government funding changes now prioritize programs containing core numeracy and literacy components, leading to the cancellation of some nonconforming classes. This raises questions regarding the role of community education for delivering certain programs. For example, many non-subsidized business and entrepreneurship courses are provided through night-school education. To illustrate this type of community education program, entrepreneurship courses taught in four different night schools are described. This chapter will help readers understand the nature of community education in New Zealand and the challenges it currently faces.
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Origins And Policy For Adult And Community Education In New Zealand

The origins of New Zealand community education can be traced back to 1842, just two years after the signing of the nation’s founding document – Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) (Dakin, 1996). At this time, community education courses were modelled on the British Mechanics’ Institute – a professional body dedicated to providing the technical and scientific foundations for professional practice in a range of disciplines (ACE Aotearoa, 2013). By 1870 over 100 institutes had been established nationwide. In this organisation, the seeds had been planted for the first formal national community education provider in the form of the Workers Educational Association (WEA) in 1915 (Dakin, 1996). The development of community education was further enhanced by a series of parliamentary acts, including the Educational Amendment Bill (1938) which established the Council of Adult Education (CAE) and sought to coordinate community education initiatives. Perhaps the most influential statute of the time was the Education Act (1947) which saw the establishment of the National Council of Adult Education (NCAE) – a promotional body that was to play a key role in the rise of community education. The act would also delineate adult and community education as distinct from university education (Dakin, 1996).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC): New Zealand government body tasked with ensuring New Zealanders are suitably equipped with the necessary skills for lifelong vocational success.

Adult and Community Education (ACE): All post-secondary New Zealand community education.

Community Education: A generic term describing post high school (post-secondary) education delivered by regional providers to meet the needs of the community they serve.

Higher Education: Tertiary education where the academic levels generally exceed those of high school (usually degree or higher).

Tertiary Education: Any post-high school education program.

Night School: Post-secondary community education classes usually held on weekday evenings.

Community Learning in Schools (CLASS): Community education programs hosted by high schools.

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