Learner success projects

He kaupapa Kia Angitu ai te Ākonga

Last updated 5 October 2022
Last updated 5 October 2022

We are partnering with  to test the Learner Success Framework.

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

In 2019-21 we partnered with four TEOs – Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec), Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Waikato – to deliver pilot projects.

Funding for partnership

The Minister of Education’s letter of delegation notes that we have up to $3 million to 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.
  • Additionality – applicant describes how the project will make something happen that wasn’t planned, or make something happen faster, or leverage existing work to meet the other criteria.
  • 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 includes 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

University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is making a transformational investment in moving the dial on equity, as well as learner success for all, via Kia Angitu, the change programme tasked with delivering the student success framework.

The TEC is providing funding to support two of the Kia Angitu projects – ACE and Takere.

  • Analytics for Course Engagement (ACE) is a student service with an associated Learning Management System (Moodle) plug-in. The service consists of the monitoring and following up with ākonga. Ākonga are proactively tracked and followed up through a coordinated outreach programme.
  • Takere is a specific, tailored and culturally responsive transition initiative that aims to enhance equity at entry by increasing access and enhancing transition for Māori and Pacific ākonga. Starting with a four-week residential wānanga, Takere is designed for ākonga to develop their academic mindset, including skills and confidence necessary to navigate university. Consistent and proactive engagement with the cohort includes regular academic and career advising and tailored learning plans.

Total funding – $540,000

University of Waikato

Building on the first pilot project, this phase of the University’s project aims to improve the student experience, retention rates and academic success of all first-year undergraduate students, especially Māori and Pacific students, and disabled students. This will be done through progressing two key initiatives:

  • Learner Success Dashboard – to add additional functionality to establish a single method of recording and tracking student support and interactions, automate communications to students, establish a process to gather additional student data, and create consistency of data entry across the LMS
  • Enhanced Study Advising Programme – so that every new undergraduate student is allocated a Study Advisor who will interact with them over their first year of study, monitor progress and proactively intervene where necessary.

Total funding – $239,000

Solomon Group

The TEC is funding the Solomon Group to trial the Learner Success Framework with a large cohort of foundation level learners. The focus of the learner success project is on developing and testing a strategy to help retain Māori and Pacific students more effectively right through the student journey, including enrolment, study commencement, attendance, assessment, pathway progression and employment.

Key outcomes sought from the funded project are:

  • a detailed and insightful understanding of the key reasons why Māori and Pacific foundation students engage, progress and ultimately succeed at a lower rate compared to their non-Māori/non-Pacific counterparts
  • to develop an understanding of the early warning signs and forward predictors of students who are at risk of disengagement or non-completion, including any that may be specific to Māori or Pacific students
  • to use these findings and experience gained from TEC’s Learner Success Framework pilot projects to date to develop, implement and measure the success of a region-wide programme in Tāmaki Makaurau which closes the parity gap for foundation learners.

Total funding – $250,000

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

In partnership with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the TEC is providing funding to support ongoing development and implementation of Te Ata Hāpara. This two-year, research-based project commenced in 2019 to improve the provision of support services to tauira at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa with the aims of increasing retention and progression of tauira, along with ensuring a sustainable future for the organisation and continued focus on the successful transformation of tauira and their whānau.

Specifically, TEC funding will be used to:

  • support the transition of the tauira services model to scale
  • support research activity that extends knowledge of attrition pathways through risk identification
  • fund the initial establishment of a remote tauira support layer
  • investigate appropriate support technologies for the new model.

Total funding – $377,000

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 have partnered with the University of Otago to redevelop Kia Ōrite – A New Zealand code of practice to achieve an inclusive and equitable tertiary education environment for disabled learners. The project involved a redevelopment and expansion from the original 2005 policy-focused guidance, to bring the current code into alignment with emerging research on international best practice for learners with disabilities. The new Kia Ōrite Toolkit content was developed in consultation with the sector, learners and subject matter experts. Ongoing work includes preparation of accessible content for online dissemination, and development of disability confidence training workshops to be available in an e-learning format. The Kia Ōrite Toolkit is a living resource, and will continue to be developed over time. 

Total funding – $87,500