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University staff say 'No' to Heretaunga campus

AUS WEB SITE20 June 2002
Media Release

Attention Education Reporters

University staff say ‘No’ to Heretaunga Campus

The Association of University Staff [AUS] has expressed objections to the proposal to lease the Heretaunga Campus in Upper Hutt to Campus Group Holdings as a facility for the education of international students.

Campus Group Holdings [CGH] already has a joint operation with Central Queensland University to recruit and train international students on campuses in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and Australia, with fees in the range of Aus$10,000 –14,000 for a full-time course per year. Dr Grant Duncan, National President of AUS, fears that the arrival of CGH will mean an emphasis on providing pre-packaged courses which employ staff on high workloads with no research component and with frequent use of casual labour.

AUS sees this kind of development as the ‘leading edge’ of low-quality, private, globalised educational operations – with profits going offshore. “We’ve been warning the government for some time about the hazards of promoting global free trade in educational services. It will lead to poor quality, and this has the potential to reflect on New Zealand’s overall reputation in higher education,” said Dr Duncan.

“Current Government policy domestically is to move away from the free market in our tertiary education system. In contrast, it seems intent on ensuring that the international tertiary education free market will be able to flourish in New Zealand.”

“This has negative implications for the nation-building role of public tertiary education and for the retention of a distinctive New Zealand education system,” said Dr Duncan.

AUS is also unconvinced by the Minister’s assurance that CGH would not be eligible for public funding, as there appears to be no bar to any provider applying to the Tertiary Education Commission for public funding if they should decide to begin recruiting domestic students in future years.

Contact:
Dr Grant Duncan, AUS National President
09 443 9700 ext 9086 [day]
021 680 475


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