Tertiary Education Commission

Delivering a high-performing tertiary education system


The Customer

TEC is tasked with delivering a high-performing careers and tertiary education system for New Zealand that can contribute to improved life outcomes for individuals and overall outcomes for society.

The Challenge

When a prospective student decides to enrol in tertiary education they are confronted with multiple requests for evidence about who they are and their previous educational achievements.  Much of the same information is also needed for financial support applications and other secondary services, like accommodation.  These requests can impede access, particularly to the most at-risk young people. TEC is acutely aware of how much personal data is needed in this process and how we under-utilise what is already held across agencies.  The enrolment experience and process needs to be easier to complete. As part of the All-of-Government data strategy, TEC is working to better understand how these processes can be simplified.

The Solution

Together a group of people from across the big education sector agencies used LINQ’s Information Flow visualisations to model the data created and requested through an individual’s educational Life Journey.  The sketch clearly highlights the opportunities for data re-use.  Strategies for simplification can now be discussed based on evidence.

The Benefits

The LINQ sketch provides content that everyone can understand. Using LINQ to communicate with stakeholders ensures that the opportunity for simplifying processes is accepted and a consistent approach across all agencies is possible.

A photo of Tanya Boelema from the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission

We use LINQ to identify risk, key stakeholder relationship points, opportunities to streamline and expose duplication. We find things that would otherwise be missed…

Tanya Boelema
Manager Architecture, Change & Knowledge

The organisation logo for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission

The TEC Story

As a New Zealand central government agency operating in the careers and education sector, the Tertiary Education Commission’s remit is to deliver a high-performing careers and tertiary education system, that enables access to higher education services by helping students identify their most appropriate learning pathways. TEC also focusses on making sure our most at-risk young people can access tertiary education including specific funding through, for example, Fees Free and Maori and Pasifika Trades Training grants

Associated with this is TECs contribution, alongside the Ministry of Education, to Result 10, NZ government’s Better Public Services programme which aims to deliver the most common government transactions digitally.

Understanding “Life Journeys” is key to the development of these services.  Foundational to delivering the Result 10 outcomes is ironing out the secure access to underlying data with consent from the individual. It is commonly accepted that all of the data required to enable a person’s access already exists inside government.  Enabling access across government agencies whilst maintaining appropriate protection to individuals’ personal data is the barrier that needs to be removed.

By modelling the education Life Journey, TEC together with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and New Zealand Qualifications Agency (NZQA) have been able to communicate to the wider government community where this data already exists, highlighting the opportunity to enable change which will make human-centered services a reality.

“We live in a digital nation” said Tanya Boelema, TEC’s Manager for Architecture, Change and Knowledge and Chief Architect. “The more we can simplify the interaction with government by re-using data we already have, the better. Obviously, this needs to be done with consent, and with the approval of the Privacy Commissioner.  Re-using this data will allow government to deliver the right services to the right people when they need them. The time saving once this is achieved is significant and it is part of the journey to a transparent and efficient government.”

“LINQ is being used in real-time during exploration and planning sessions to help describe and communicate the opportunity that exists once the data landscape is understood. This applies to all of government, not just the education sector.  The move to provide a single access point to services becomes possible once the data landscape is clearly understood. That is what LINQ is allowing us to do” said Tanya.