Image: Rt Hon. Trevor Mallard speaks at the launch of the Parliamentary Education Trust. Source: https://www.victoria.ac.nz/sog/about/news/1741701-new-qualification-for-mps-offered-by-school-of-government
On Wednesday 3 April the Parliamentary Education Charitable Trust, sponsored by Sir Owen Glenn, was formally launched at Parliament. The purpose is to provide opportunities for members of Parliament to build their knowledge and skills for their role in targeted ways – including being more effective select committee members, Chairs and spokespeople, and being more able to provide robust scrutiny and effective opposition.
Sir Owen Glenn has committed $450kNZ to this initiative because he believes that “such an investment in education will enhance our nation’s representative democracy.”
The educational work of the trust has been made possible working with Victoria University’s School of Government, who created the Postgraduate certificate programme covering four courses taken over two years, comprising:
- Government and governance
- Policy analysis and advising
- Research methods and statistics
The programme currently has 18 MPs confirmed for the first intake to Victoria University and a further 20 MPs are enrolled in an Institute of Directors course – another facet of the programme.
The programme will build MP’s expertise in the institutional, economic, policymaking and research foundations of good public policymaking. Professor Girol Karacaoglu, Head of the School of Government says that “by the end of the programme participant MPs will be able to use the knowledge and skills they have gained to develop and debate policies, serve on select committees, lead policy decision making and to speak the language of departmental policy advisers. Ultimately, they will be in a better position to serve their constituents.”
A third component is a mentorship program where more establish MPs mentor those more junior, giving expert advice, access to a network of experts including experts on specific topics, former senior public servants, and former Members of Parliament.
Chairperson Katherine says that the ambition to provide opportunities for extra education and training support for Members is at the heart of the Parliament Education Trust.
“Opportunities will be bespoke and tailored towards the needs of individual members, and the range of options includes a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Policy delivered by Victoria University which leads to a qualification, career development support, speakers on relevant topics, and other course modules.”