State-Funded University Education Act, 649

From The Kodiak Republic Wiki

State-Funded University Education Act

Given the inaccessibility to higher education for many citizens of The Kodiak Republic (TKR), additionally given the lack of established standards and oversight in the higher education sector, the State-Funded University Education Act seeks to establish oversight for quality across all higher education institutions in TKR and fund tuition costs to enable access to higher education.
ENACTED by the Kodiak Higher Education Rebuild Package, 649 on 19 January 2023.
AMENDED by the Emergency Education Appropriations Act.

Article I: Definitions

1.1 - State Universities are university institutions where student tuition fees are fully state-funded by The Kodiak Republic government.
1.2 - Private Universities are university institutions where student tuition fees are not state-funded. This distinction does not exclude Private universities from receiving grants from the Ministry of Education that may be authorised by other legislative acts or government initiatives.

Article II: Tertiary Education Standards

2.1 - Establishes the Kodiak Tertiary Education Standards Agency (KTESA).
2.2 - The KTESA shall be staffed by independent non-Ministry of Education executive staff and public servants.
2.3 - The KTESA shall be funded by the Ministry of Education for ₣125 million Florins per quarter.
2.4 - The KTESAs’ objective is to set tertiary education standards and assess and rank both state and private universities annually purely on education-relevant metrics. These assessments shall be published annually.
2.5 - The KTESA additionally shall assess and rank all state and private universities against international standards annually.

Article III: State-Funded Tuition

3.1 - The Ministry of Education is granted a budget of ₣800 million Florins per quarter to fund state university tuition fees, and additional administrative on-costs calculated per student in consultation with the Ministry of Education and designated State Universities.
3.2 - The Ministry of Education will set a schedule for the tuition fees payable for all undergraduate certificates and degrees, and postgraduate certificates and degrees.
3.2.1 - This schedule shall be indexed by the national consumer price index (CPI) annually as dictated by the Ministry of Education.
3.2.2 - The Ministry of Education may also adjust the tuition fee schedule on an annual basis based on the national demand for education within particular sectors or industries.
3.3 - All citizens of the Kodiak Republic shall have all necessary tuition fees paid by the state if attending a State University for any undergraduate degree up to a period of four years.
3.4 - Private Universities are not eligible for state-funded tuition, and are authorised to charge tuition fees.
3.5 - State Universities shall retain control of the education options provided to prospective students, the number of places offered, as well as entry requirements.
3.5.1 - The Ministry of Education in consultation with State Universities may provide guidance on maximum placements available for undergraduate students based on available funding and national demand.

Article IV: Kodiak Scholarships and Grants

4.1 - The Ministry of Education is authorised to provide scholarships and grants to students to encourage location or economically disadvantaged students, minorities in particular sectors, and students with high potential. These scholarships and grants may be for undergraduate coursework or support for postgraduate research.
4.2 - The Scholarships and Grants provided by the Ministry of Education are separate from those provided by a university, and must be available to all universities.
4.3 - The Ministry of Education reserves the right to dictate the number of scholarships and grants available to each university, adjusting if required for provinces that have greater need.
4.4 - The scholarships and grants provided by the Ministry of Education in this article are offered only to State Universities.
4.5 - A budget of ₣150 million Florins per quarter is available for state-funded scholarships and grants.

Article V: Pathways

5.1 - Technical Colleges in consultation with Universities may offer diplomas as a pathway to university education.
5.2 - The Ministry of Education may offer tuition-free pathways in consultation with state universities and technical colleges in a packaged enrollment in a technical college with automatic advancement to the university portion of their education in order to secure a placement at a university, should they meet the requirements to advance.

Article VI: Admissions

6.1 - All universities will be required to implement admission procedures that are merit focused and ensures that prospective students are equally able to enroll based on merit and available placements.
6.2 - Standardised national tertiary examinations will be administered by the Ministry of Education, with examinable content produced in consultation with universities.
6.3 - There will be two types of tertiary entrance examinations: 1) The General Tertiary Entrance Exam, and 2) Specialist Tertiary Entrance Exams. Specialist entrance exams are suitable for technical degrees, or specialist degrees that require a higher foundational competency in knowledge. Which exam would be required for different disciplines shall be determined by the Ministry of Education in consultation with universities.
6.4 - The aim of the tertiary entrance examinations will be to score and rank students for core competencies required for higher education. Universities shall determine the threshold required for entry to a degree.
6.5 - Universities shall also use high school education exam results for courses that are relevant to the discipline a student has applied for. Universities will determine the course requirements and these results will be used as a further differentiator between students.
6.6 - Universities must admit students on merit, with the highest scoring students first, until all available placements are filled.
6.7 - Applicants may undergo bridging courses from registered education providers, community colleges, or universities should they need to meet knowledge requirements. Results from bridging courses can be substituted for high school results.
6.8 - KTESA will administrate university admission with the ‘University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)’ that will allow an applicant to specify and rank order university and degree preferences.
6.8.1 - Applicants must be matched based on a student's suitability for a university and degree choice with their highest possible preference chosen if able. High school results and entrance examination results will be automatically submitted to UCAS.
6.8.2 - UCAS shall only present necessary information relevant for selection (e.g., national entrance exam scores, high school results) about an application to universities, and the university will be able to make an offer to the applicant through UCAS.
6.8.3 - Once an offer is accepted, the offered place shall be considered accepted by the university and the university shall send any relevant documents and additional enrollment administration instructions to the student directly.
6.8.4 - Should an offer be rejected, or a student otherwise elects to not enroll with the university, the available offer shall be free to be offered to another student.
6.9 - KTESA through UCAS will publish all requirements for applications, instructions, as well as key dates and deadlines.
6.10 - For specific courses, additional results, documentation or information may be set as a requirement with consultation with the Ministry of Education and KTESA.

Author: Hester Sirocco-Loren, KWP, Deputy Chancellor and Minister of Education and Health, and Charlotte Groves, KWP, seconded Deputy Chancellor and Minister of Education and Health

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