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Public Tertiary Education Coalition re-forms

The next government needs to make a larger financial commitment to tertiary education say tertiary staff and students.

Staff and student groups have decided to re-establish the Public Tertiary Education Coalition (PTEC) to campaign for increased funding for public tertiary education in the build up to the general election.

PTEC spokesperson Sharn Riggs said the group was last formed in 1996 to campaign against under-funding during the general election that year. “PTEC is a grouping of tertiary education staff unions and student associations that are united under a banner of making funding for public education a top priority for the next government. Collectively, PTEC represents over 200,000 staff and students in the tertiary education sector.”

PTEC spokesperson Andrew Campbell said, “Despite the government’s assurances that it was committed to lowering the cost of tertiary education to students, access to student allowances is at its lowest level ever, and student loan debt continues to rise.”

“Investment in regional polytechnics remains woefully inadequate, and the salaries and conditions of tertiary staff are falling further behind their colleagues both nationally and internationally. After three years, this government is still staring down the barrel of a seriously under-funded tertiary sector.”

Riggs said, “This government has stopped privatisation of prisons and ACC but continues to entrench privatisation in tertiary education.”

“The voting public needs to know that each year over $150 million of their money is being redirected from our public polytechnics, universities, wananga and colleges of education to prop up private training providers. Many of these providers generate large profits for their private owners. This is tantamount to theft from the public purse. It must stop.”

The members of PTEC are the Association of University Staff (AUS), Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE), the Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association (ATSA), Te Mana Akonga (TMA) and the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

ENDS

For further information please contact PTEC spokespeople

Sharn Riggs – 0274 438 768

Andrew Campbell – 0274 86 86 77

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