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AUS welcomes Tertiary Education Strategy, but...

The Association of University Staff (AUS) has welcomed the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy launched at the Beehive today by the Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Mr Maharey, but is waiting for the Budget to show Government’s commitment to its substance.

Dr Grant Duncan, National President of AUS, said ‘The tertiary-education system needs a long-term vision, and the Strategy’s emphasis on building institutional capacity, and on increased quality and excellence in university teaching and research is to be commended.’

But, when asked about more public funding of the system at the launch, the Minister was only willing to say that the Government ‘would like to lift our investment as the years go by,’ and that it was ‘trying to invest a little more in the system.’

Dr Duncan commented that ‘a little more would not be enough to achieve Government’s ambitious goals. Without significant increases in public investment, the Strategy will be no more than colourful rhetoric on glossy paper.’

‘The essential key to the success of this strategy will inevitably lie within the qualities of public tertiary-education institutions and their staff. These institutions continue to be under-funded.’

Dr Duncan added that the question of funding is still ‘a big IFF.’

Contact phone number: 021 680 475

Note: IFF = Integrated Funding Formula (to be announced in the Budget on 23 May).

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