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18 Feb 2018 8:37
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    Tertiary trainer manipulated data: report

    A now-defunct Auckland tertiary training facility manipulated data about its students so it could gain greater funding, a government investigation has found.

    A now-defunct Auckland education facility manipulated data about how many students had completed courses so it could gain greater funding, a Tertiary Education Commission investigation has found.

    Best Pacific Institute of Education - formerly the country's largest tertiary training provider to Pacific people - went into liquidation in December, leaving 1200 students stranded and looking for a new place to study.

    It first came under the eye of TEC in 2015 when the government agency launched an investigation.

    The investigation found Best submitted information to TEC that incorrectly extended course end dates to make it look like more students were completing their courses than was actually the case, according to a report released on Wednesday.

    "This enabled Best to continue getting funding while avoiding having to produce data showing fewer than 70 per cent of students were successfully completing courses," TEC manager of monitoring Dean Winter said.

    Under TEC's benchmarks, tertiary training institutes risk losing future funding from the government if less than 70 per cent of their students complete their courses.

    Mr Winter said even when it filed inaccurate data in 2013, Best's students still only achieved a course completion rate of 70.1 per cent.

    "Without the inaccuracies, it would have dipped below our benchmark and the TEC would have considered not funding Best in subsequent years," he said.

    Best's actions breached both the Education Act and its agreed funding conditions, he said.

    The investigation also concluded Best had provided fewer teaching hours to students than it had been funded to do.

    Best had campuses in New Lynn and Manukau and could teach courses ranging from Level 1 foundation-training through to degree level qualifications.


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