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Tertiary Strategy Designed For Business

Tertiary Strategy Designed For Business Not Whole Community

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is disappointed with the content of the new Tertiary Education Strategy, in regard to the prioritisation of the needs of business over all other functions of tertiary education.

“The first TEAC report that started the tertiary reform process stated that the needs of learners are paramount. Along the way, however, the vision has deteriorated into a tertiary system being little more than a factory to produce the specific skill needs of business,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.

“Issues of environmental sustainability and social development are paid little more than lip service in the strategy so as to appease certain sectors. The overwhelming focus of this strategy is to align tertiary education provision with economic goals. As a result, courses that fall outside of this alignment appear under threat,” said Campbell.

“The strategy was even referred to as a business plan at today’s launch. Such a move in the direction of the tertiary education system will put New Zealand out of step with most other countries and lead to an inevitable downgrading of our public tertiary institutions,” said Campbell.

“The big questions have not been answered in this strategy. There is nothing on funding, except to say that courses that do not meet the goals of the strategy will not be funded. There is nothing on the role of private providers that unnecessarily soak up a large amount of the government spend on tertiary education,” said Campbell.

“Students want a strategy that supports a broad based education system based around quality and access, not business needs. We also want to see the prioritisation of public education over private,” said Campbell.

ENDS

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