Education reforms: the marketisation of education in New Zealand: human capital theory and student investment decisions

Eagle, L.C. (1999) Education reforms: the marketisation of education in New Zealand: human capital theory and student investment decisions. PhD thesis, University of Auckland.

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This thesis traces the development of the New Zealand education reforms which began in the late 1980s from their ideological and theoretical foundations, especially those of human capital theory, through policy development and implementation. Polytechnic business programmes are used as a case study to illustrate the impact of the reforms and of one of the principal mechanisms by which the reforms were expected to be implemented-the National Framework. Evidence is provided that leads to policy questions regarding the implementation of the Framework under the aegis of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. These concerns include competency based learning and administration and delivery complexities. The links between the reform intentions and the actuality of implementation are also examined. The assumption that the education reforms are expected to have significant impact on the country's economic performance is examined and factors which impact on workplace organisation and productivity and which may constrain the effects of improved worker education and training are discussed. The instrument of ‘the market’ as a means of achieving both efficiencies and effectiveness in tertiary education is also reviewed. There appears to be an absence of a common understanding of the nature, composition and behaviour of education markets. Indicative evidence is also provided regarding the complexity of student investment decisions with regard to tertiary education decisions. This study provides evidence to support human capital theory as a force influencing the decision to undertaken tertiary education, but as part of a much more complex model of the tertiary education decision making process than it would appear that policy makers have considered. Evidence is presented that leads to questions regarding the assumption that industry will take ownership of the reform processes. Evidence is presented of industry indifference and inertia to the reforms. Recommendations for the re-examination of developments to date are made, together with research programmes to provide a sound empirical base for future policy making. Without a structured critical review of the reform intentions versus the emerging actuality, there is a danger that the reforms may, in part at least, prove to be both inefficient and ineffectual.

Item ID: 20561
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: education reforms; marketisation of education; New Zealand; human capital theory; student investment decisions
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Restricted access to this thesis is available from the link to the University of Auckland's institutional repository above. Their record for this thesis states "Subscription resource available via Digital Dissertations only."

Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2013 04:13
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified @ 33%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education @ 33%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership @ 34%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930403 School/Institution Policies and Development @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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