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Regional Polytechnics Need More than Leftovers

MEDIA RELEASE Date: 20 May 2002

Regional Polytechnics Need More than Leftovers

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association’s (ATSA) initial satisfaction at the Government’s recognition of the importance of regional polytechnics was tempered when looking at the low amounts of funding involved.

ATSA has questioned why the government has allocated only $5 million extra over four years to be spread over all regional polytechnics in New Zealand. “Unless funding is dramatically increased to regional polytechnics, their students and their communities could once more be left to believe they are merely being fed leftovers,” advised National Student President Julie Pettett.

The announced level of funding is paltry when compared to the $25 million that has gone to a single university for an unnecessary new business school. The Government has also recently announced a last quarter revenue increase of over $900 million.

“Many regional polytechnics have been under severe financial pressure in recent years,” said Pettett. “ATSA is concerned that students at these polytechnics are missing out on key support services because institutions can no longer afford to provide them.”

At the same time, ATSA acknowledged the government’s recognition of the crucial role that the polytechnic sector plays in regional economic development. “Regional polytechnics are a key contributor in providing the skills needed for local businesses and industries,” she said. “While this funding is modest, anything which improves their long term viability and relevance is welcome. We look forward to seeing how this money will be used to generate economic gains for polytechnics and regions which have traditionally lost out in the drive for economic growth.”

ENDS

For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett ATSA National President Cellphone 029 939 1417

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