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Little value placed on university education

AUS WEB SITEFunding for universities, announced in today’s Budget, shows that the Government continues to place little value on university education. New Zealand universities will remain funded at significantly lower levels than their overseas counterparts.
Universities will have their funding increased at a rate of 3% in 2004 and at the rate of inflation for the following two years. Student tuition fees will be capped by the introduction of new maximum fee levels which will control the level to which tuition fees can be increased by individual universities.
Association of University Staff (AUS) National President, Dr Bill Rosenberg, said that while welcoming the security provided by triennial funding, the funding levels are well below those needed to even begin to restore the funding decline of the last decade, or to improve salaries and cover additional institutional compliance costs resulting from current changes in the sector.
Dr Rosenberg said that while AUS supports the regulation of student fees, he said the introduction of a fee maximum without adequate increases in funding would inevitably lead to increased tuition fees.
“We are particularly disappointed that postgraduate tuition fees are excluded from fee maxima requirements when, compared to other countries, the New Zealand workforce has a low proportion of people with postgraduate qualifications’.
Dr Rosenberg said that while welcoming increases in other areas of the education sector, it is clear that universities are treated as the poor relation. “
Dr Rosenberg welcomed the announcement that $150,000 to be used in the first phase of a review of the tertiary education workforce.

Ends

For further information or comment please contact:
Dr Bill Rosenberg
National President, Association of University Staff
Ph (03) 364 2801 (work) (03) 332 8525 (home) 021 680 475 (mobile)
Email bill.rosenberg@canterbury.ac.nz

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