Roger Smyth

Summary curriculum vitae

Work record

2017 – present            Independent advisor and consultant on tertiary education

2002 – 2017                  New Zealand Ministry of Education

                                      2013 – 2017        Group Manager, Tertiary Education Policy

                                      2002 – 2013        Manager, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis

1987 – 2002                  Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

                                      2001 – 2002         Assistant Vice-Chancellor

                                      1989 – 2001         Academic Registrar

         1987 – 1989         Assistant Registrar (Academic)

1976 – 1986                  Xavier College, Christchurch, New Zealand

Mathematics teacher/ Head of Department/ Deputy Principal

Principal responsibilities as Group Manager, Tertiary Education Policy

Leadership of the Ministry of Education’s tertiary education policy and research and analysis programmes, including:

  • Leadership of the Tertiary Education Group’s management team
    • leadership of the Ministry of Education’s tertiary education policy programme
    • ensuring that policy advice is informed by research and analytical findings
    • building capability in policy, research and analysis.
  • Management of the relationship between the Ministry of Education and the office of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment.

Previous Ministry of Education management responsibilities

As Manager, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis

  • Development and leadership of the Ministry of Education’s programme of tertiary education research, analysis, monitoring, forecasting and policy costing.
  • Building linkages between the research and analysis work and the tertiary education policy programme – anticipating the emerging policy questions, producing policy-relevant evaluative analysis and advocating for the use of analytical results in support of policy advice.
  • Leadership in the development and enhancement of the tertiary education data infrastructure and of analytical approaches.
  • Leadership of information system development projects – particularly, the integration of education data with data from other government agencies.

Government agency performance oversight

  • Between 2006 and 2010, I led the Ministry of Education’s Crown entity monitoring programme.  This involved reviewing and advising ministers on the performance of the government’s education government agencies.  This role included responsibility for advice to ministers on the roles of the organisations, on their governance and on machinery of government questions.

Other Ministry of Education roles

  • Following the February 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, I was seconded to work on the Ministry’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Team for four months, setting up a renewal programme of work for the post-compulsory education system in Christchurch.
  • I have been active as an analyst and researcher on tertiary education. I have published more than 25 papers and journal articles and written a large number of book chapters.  My published work has focused on the outcomes of tertiary education, research performance and student support.

International roles and projects

  • In 2019 and 2020, I have been technical lead on the team developing a graduate outcomes survey for Fiji, under contract to the Fiji Higher Education Commission. That work is led by the Canberra-based consultancy Sustineo Pty.
  • In 2018 and 2019, I was engaged by the Fiji Higher Education Commission to conduct a review of the country’s higher education funding model, to recommend changes, to create a new funding model, to develop the system to implement the model and to train the staff in the model. 
  • In 2019 and 2020, I advised the Fiji Higher Education Commission on the development of a new system for monitoring higher education institutions.  The system was trialed in 2019 and implemented in 2020.
  • In 2020, I was engaged as technical editor on the OECD’s project to review higher education resourcing policies in European Union countries.
  • In 2017, I was an expert member of the OECD team reviewing the Japanese education system, developing advice for the Japanese government on the medium-term direction for education in Japan.  The report on that review was published in July 2018.
  • I was also an expert member of the OECD’s review of the Greek education system. The report on that review was published in early May 2018.
  • In 2005, I was a member of the OECD expert panel that reviewed the tertiary education system of Iceland.
  • Over 2012-2016, I have been an invited speaker at international conferences on tertiary education issues in Korea, Canada, Japan and Australia.

University management experience

Before joining the Ministry of Education, I had a number of senior management roles at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand. This included:

  • Management of the programme approval and quality assurance processes
  • Development and oversight of the academic performance framework
  • Management and quality oversight of student administration processes.
  • Managing the development of the university’s annual plan.
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