A new student data repository will soon offer access to more useful information on demand, like this father and daughter using a laptop.

New Zealand is putting student empowerment at the heart of its data drive


An education official explains how a new data repository will soon offer access to more useful information on demand

New Zealand is a small, some would argue, perfectly formed, country. We’re diverse and proud of it. That diversity is reflected in our education system.

Our roughly 5,000 early childhood education providers, 2,500 schools, 30 universities and polytechnics, and more than 400 private training establishments all run relatively autonomously. That autonomy creates a lot of choice for students and their families, as each provider reflects the diversity of its community in both its values and the local curriculum they offer.

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The core attributes of this system have been in place for a long time and it generally serves us pretty well. We punch above our weight by international standards in terms of investment and outcomes from education. Our main challenge is that we have huge variability in outcomes – our top students do exceptionally well but too many of our students fall behind and never catch up.

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