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AUS Tertiary Update Vol.3 No.11

AUS website
Tertiary institutions say the Government’s offer of a 2.3 percent funding increase in exchange for a freeze on student fees next year is inadequate, but one they cannot easily refuse.
Institutions have about three months to respond to whether the increase will be sufficient for them to stabilise fees in 2001.
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology chief executive, John Scott, said the proposed increase was inadequate to meet the real cost of inflation in terms of salary increases and the general expenses of the polytechnic.
Vice-chancellors committee executive director Lindsay Taiaroa said the winners in the proposal were students and the Government, which would fulfil its manifesto commitment.
Christchurch College of Education registrar Tom Gregg said the Government offer proposed collapsing differentiation between study-right and non study-right fees, which would require fee rises to bring the two levels together. “2.3 wouldn't cover that,” he said.
AUS has written to Ministers Steve Maharey and Trevor Mallard this week expressing concerns about university funding.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. AUS Cancels NBR Subscription
2. Select Committee Inquiry Terms of Reference Announced
3. Inquiry into Role of CIS Called For
4. Voluntary Student Membership
5. Massey/Victoria Fallout Continues
6. Why Would Academic Prefer Super 12 Career?
7. Debts Crippling Young Dentists

AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier, has today emailed the National Business Review editor and cancelled the AUS subscription in protest at the naming of the police officer involved in the recent incident at Waitara. Noting that the editor had acknowledged on Morning Report that he had published the name “because he could”, AUS has suggested that NBR reimburse the New Zealand Herald for expenses incurred in challenging the name suppression.
Police Association President, Greg O’Connor, has welcomed AUS support.

The Education and Science Select Committee, inquiring into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education, has announced the terms of reference. The committee seeks submissions from students, academics, tertiary providers and other interested parties on:
 the strengths and weaknesses of the current system of student fees, loans and allowances
 future social and economic impacts of student debt, including the sustainability of the scheme
 the implications of the current funding model on the quality of education, course selection, skill availability and the ‘brain drain’
 any other matters to do with the resourcing of tertiary education.
The committee will report to the House with recommendations to the Government. Closing date for submissions is Monday, 10 July.

The AUS has joined several groups calling for an inquiry into the role of the New Zealand Police Criminal Intelligence Service (CIS) regarding its surveillance and collecting of information on political organisations and individuals in New Zealand.
The call on the Justice and Electoral Select Committee comes in the wake of the findings in the case, Small v Attorney General, in which the CIS admitted their interest in David Small, an AUS member, after his authorship of articles on Pacific independence struggles in the mid-1980s.

AUS and ASTE have made a joint submission on the Education Amendment Bill – legislation aimed at reversing the 1998 legislation that forced all student associations to conduct ballots to decide whether they would remain compulsory or become voluntary organisations.
Our submission focuses on the definition of ‘student association’, student representation on Councils, and the trigger point for calling for future ballots on voluntary or compulsory membership.

The Dominion reports (May 11) that Victoria University is to sell the downtown Architecture School building that was especially converted to house Victoria’s School of Architecture and Wellington Polytechnic’s School of Design. The building won an architecture prize in 1994. Victoria's move to open a competing School of Design last year led to the withdrawal of the (now Massey) School of Design from the joint site. It is feared that the move back to inadequate facilities on the main Victoria campus could cause problems in meeting accreditation standards.

What could be sufficient to lure a young man away from a budding academic career into Super 12 rugby?
Crusaders centre Mark Robinson may describe himself as a Super 12 rugby ‘undergraduate’ but with degrees from Victoria and Cambridge universities, specialising in political philosophy, he’s not short of career options.
“I've really given myself a couple of years to put all my energy into rugby, and see what happens after that,” Robinson said.
Wise decision - his recent form has seen All Blacks Daryl Gibson and Norm Berryman left on the sideline.
Could money be a factor at all?

Huge debts are forcing many dental graduates to head overseas, a report released this week says.
The report is a survey of dental graduates registered between 1994 and 1998 carried out by the Dental Council of New Zealand.
Council chairman David Marshall said in 1998, 79% owed more than $80,000 and 97% of graduates from 1998 have debts greater than $50,000.
While the Dental Council welcomed the Government's decision in February to lower dental student fees from $22,000 to $10,000 it remained concerned at the high debt levels of the group of dentists graduating between 1994 and 1998.


Sex discrimination is embedded in university research assessment and the rules need urgent change, says the Association of University Teachers.
The call for change comes in response to an employment tribunal finding last week that the London School of Economics was guilty of directly discriminating against a female internal job applicant, and guilty of indirect discrimination against her in relation to the research assessment exercise.
The AUT is calling upon the funding councils for higher education to stop the current research assessment exercise (RAE) and apply a rigorous equal opportunities audit to the rules and procedures.
The research assessment exercise collects information on individual academics in their own departments and assesses the overall quality of the research. This leads to a departmental rating and funding is awarded accordingly. Every department's research reputation depends on this scheme.
The research output from women who take maternity leave can be affected and lead to them being excluded from the exercise. This can lower their academic status and severely retard their careers.
AUS Tertiary Update is produced weekly on Fridays and distributed freely to members of the union and others. Back issues are archived on the AUS website: . Direct enquiries to Rob Crozier, AUS executive director. Email:

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