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Private Agenda in Public Tertiary Education

Labour Backs Private Agenda in Public Tertiary Education

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is describing the Governments’ “Partnerships for Excellence” framework announced today as a sop to big business at the expense of academic staff and students.

“The government always says it doesn’t have enough money to invest in tertiary staff and students yet it can find money to invest in partnerships with business to build new buildings. This policy shows where Labours priorities are focussed; furthering the interests of business,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell

“These partnerships will in no way support or benefit social goals. I can’t think of any community organisation that would have the type of money required to invest in these partnerships. This framework will be dominated by businesses seeking to extend their corporate philosophies into our tertiary institutions,” said Campbell.

“This policy is a very real threat to academic freedom. Because successive governments have underfunded tertiary institutions for so long, many will have no choice but to enter into these types of partnerships. There is growing international evidence, however, that such partnerships have resulted in intrusions on academic freedom,” said Campbell.

“This is further evidence of increasing privatisation of our tertiary education system enabling the government to shirk its responsibilities. If the government wants the high quality public tertiary education system they espouse, they should fund it themselves rather than leaving it to the private sector,” said Campbell.

“This move is further evidence why Labour needs a coalition partner after the election so as to ensure that any further moves to privatise our public tertiary education system are severely restricted,” said Campbell.

ENDS

For further information please contact
NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell
Wk: 04 498 2500 Cell: 0274 86 86 73

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