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Unis' Advertising Spending Out Of Control

Spending on advertising and marketing by public tertiary institutions has spiralled out of control in the last two years according to information supplied to National Student Unions.

The APSU Student Union and NZUSA have compared spending on advertising from six universities and polytechnics which shows that spending increased by over *58% between 1998 and 2000, while in the same period total student numbers at the six institutions grew by 5%.

"The Minister of Tertiary Education recently declared that the competitive model for tertiary education is dead, yet these figures clearly show that there is still considerable work to be done before this aim can be achieved," says APSU National President David Penney.

"Since the beginning of this year, television, radio and newspaper advertising campaigns by universities and polytechnics have reached saturation levels and we seriously question whether public institutions should be allowed to spend student and public money in this way," says NZUSA Co President Sam Huggard.

Spending on advertising/marketing in 2000 varied from $150 per equivalent full time student (EFTS) to $330 per EFTS. At some tertiary institutions this would equate to around 10% of the student tuition fee being spent on advertising.

"It is clear that with nil to very low growth in student numbers predicted for 2000, tertiary institutions are using lavish amounts of student and taxpayer money to conduct a short-sighted, cut-throat battle for bums on seats," says David Penney

"The Government recently acknowledged that fees are a barrier to participation in tertiary education. If they are serious about bringing down the cost of education they should start by immediately looking at how they fund tertiary education," says Sam Huggard.

"The previous National Government set up a funding model that encouraged tertiary institutions to compete to the death. We hope that the Labour's planned Tertiary Education Advisory Committee will act quickly to remedy this situation," says David Penney.


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