Brighter Futures - studying with PTEs

Brighter Futures

Look forward to a brighter future through a private training establishment (PTE), specialists in foundation-level qualifications, diplomas, degrees and apprenticeships.

PEOPLE WHO MAKE the films you watch, run your business’s digital marketing campaigns, make electricity work in your factory or office, maybe even those piloting your plane – chances are they studied with a private training establishment (PTE).

Kia ora magazine


It is one year since we published this article in Air New Zealand's Kia Ora magazine, highlighting success stories from ITENZ-member PTEs. The stories are as relevant today.

Read the full article here


New report provides support for role of WDCs and argues for a greater QA role

A new report by The Business Performance Team states that there is strong support for Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) from industry and other stakeholders and argues that there is a case to give the WDCs a greater role in the QA process.

The report is based on interviews with a range of industry and vocational education system stakeholders and a review of documents from the RoVE development and implementation process. It provides some background, describes the differences between the ITO and WDC systems and highlights what stakeholders value in the new system. It also identifies possible future directions for WDCs, including the suggestion that they pick up more of NZQA’s role.


Read the full report here




ITENZ welcomes new board members

We are very pleased to welcome two new members to the ITENZ Board, Alex McKegg and Patrick Rennell.


At the same time, we say farewell to three long-serving members, Paul Chalmers, Jeremy Sole, and Sandra Hutton.


Patrick Rennell has been involved with the tertiary education sector for over 20 years in New Zealand, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Starting career as tutor and lecturer at Massey University and WelTec he has also held management positions within business schools in Australian College of Kuwait and Bahrain Polytechnic.

Patrick is the Chief Executive of the Horowhenua Learning Centre Trust.  A charitable trust PTE with a focus on youth social services, foundation & vocational education, and employment support. HLC/LTTM is based in Levin with satellites campuses in Palmerston North, Kapiti and the Wairarapa and delivers programmes through literacy & numeracy, Youth Guarantee, SAC 1-2, and SAC 3+ funding. Through its social services and employment operations the Trust also contracts to the Ministries of Education, Social Development, Health, Youth Development and Pacific Peoples.Patrick has a wealth of experience in education management and academic governance. He is the Chair of the Education Horowhenua, a Horowhenua District Council (HDC) education sector steering group, a member of the HDC Community Wellbeing Committee and the Kapiti District Council Education Hub Committee.

He is a strong advocate for the PTEs and the value they bring to the education sector in New Zealand.


Alex McKegg is the Academic Manager (and at times Acting-General Manager) for Edvance Workplace Training. Edvance specialises in delivering workplace literacy and numeracy education. Edvance also delivers foundation skills training in the community utilising Intensive Literacy and Numeracy and ACE funding.

Alex’s prior roles have included those as an Academic Director and as an independent contractor supporting PTE, Wananga and ITPs to build quality systems. This drew on her experience as a Lead Evaluator and Consistency Reviewer for NZQA.

Prior to working with NZQA Alex held a number of leadership and development roles in foundation studies and literacy and numeracy training with the Tertiary Education Commission and Unitec. Alex has been a member of the ITENZ Academic Managers’ forum, Foundation and Bridging Educators NZ (FABENZ) and the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA).

Alex is passionate about making education accessible, relevant and engaging for all learners. Alex is married to Mark and has three grown sons.


ITENZ Conference 2023 brings together leaders from across the PTE, VET, and international education sectors.

For two days, leaders from across PTE, VET, and international education sectors came together to discuss, question and collaborate on the future of PTEs and tertiary education in Christchurch.

TEC, Chief Executive, Tim Fowler, summed up the mood with a Linkedin post on Day One. “Having a great day at the annual ITENZ conference in Christchurch. PTEs do an amazing job and fulfill an important role in the tertiary education system.”

With over 150 people present, including the Minister of Education, politicians from the four main parties, chief executives and representatives from government agencies, WDCs, and CoVEs, exhibitors from complimentary industries, and delegates from PTEs, the conference provided a wonderful opportunity to learn, share and network.

The chance to network with senior staff from government was described by one attendee as “gold” and another as “awesome” while many others singled out networking with fellow providers, speakers, and exhibitors as a highlight.


“Brilliant conference, great organisation and opportunities to network.”


Delegates were treated to a wide range of plenary and breakout sessions. Alan Kan’s session on ChatGPT was particularly popular, as were sessions resilience, wellbeing, engaging wahine Māori and an update on international education. A highlight on Day Two was the political panel, comprising representatives from the four main political parties presenting their policies.

In feedback, 98% of respondents gave the conference 4 or 5 out of 5 on the satisfaction scale.


“Having the ability to network was awesome. The food was incredible! Coffee even better! The Trade Stands were great also. Always good to get insight into other options for Student Management systems etc”



Winners of 2023 ITENZ Excellence Awards

ITENZ Excellence Award winners for 2023 announced


“An exemplary role model for all who serve in the tertiary learning sector,” is how the adjudication panel described the recipient of the 2023 ITENZ Ako Aotearoa Supreme Award*, Sue Townshend

Sue Townshend

Sue, Academic Quality and Services Director at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand, was also the recipient of the ITENZ Outstanding Performance Award, sponsored by Wisenet, in recognition of her ongoing commitment to reflective practice and the clear links from her extensive professional development choices to meeting learner, staff, organisational and community needs.

Jenny Jenkins (right) receives the Outstanding Performance Award on Sue Townshend's behalf from Carol Leoncini (Wisenet).

The judging panel was impressed by Sue’s exceptional contribution to the outcomes of learners. She facilitates support for students to achieve their individual goals by organising academic skills workshops, providing online academic resources and scaffolding activities, incentivising the students in a range of ways, and following up on every students’ pathway to success. The adjudication panel agreed that they were looking at “a super outstanding member of Le Cordon Bleu’s staff. “

Sue is a very deserving winner of both awards.

The awards were accepted on her behalf by Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand’s General Manager, Jenny Jenkins.

Jenny Jenkins (right) receives the Supreme Award on Sue Townshend's behalf from Ako Aotearoa's Ruth Peterson and Sam Kelly.

*The ITENZ Supreme Award is always awarded to a recipient of one of the other ITENZ Awards


Mission Ready, “a provider at the edge of innovation, striving for learner-focused outcomes,” was the winner of the 2023 ITENZ Provider of the Year Award, sponsored by Public Trust.

Chris Moore (Public Trust) and Ruth Peterson (Ako Aotearoa) present the Provider of the Year Award to Diana Sharma and Alana Kan from Mission Ready

Mission Ready focus on real-world learning through project-based environments, ensuring students are work-ready but staircased through a supportive and safe process. This is evident in the high progression rates from level 4 to level 6 programmes and the achievement and employment outcomes.

They embrace technology's ongoing evolution and constantly push the boundaries to meet student and industry needs. Gamification software is used to enhance student engagement and micro-credentials have been designed to be more targeted to industry needs, providing flexibility in a rapidly changing industry.  Regular work-based internships are made possible through established relationships with 150 industry partners.

Looking ahead, continued investments are being made to integrate learnings from AI technologies.

ITENZ is delighted to acknowledge Mission Ready through this award.


People Potential, were recipients of a Highly Commended Award in the Provider of the Year category. The panel commented, in particular, on their strong community focus and strong matauranga Māori pedagogy.

Chris Moore (Public Trust) presenting the Highly Commended Award to Rachel Shaw and Sarah Currie from People Potential