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Union Welcomes Call For Increased Investment

Association of University Staff - Media Release

Attn Education Reporter
Thursday, 4 December 2003

University union welcomes call for increased investment

The Association of University Staff (AUS today welcomed the statement from the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary) Steve Maharey that more investment is needed in the university system.

Delegates to the AUS annual conference, being held in Wellington this week, were told by Mr. Maharey today that additional funding, over and above that already proposed for targeted initiatives, was needed within in the sector but said it would more likely come initially from a redistribution of existing resources.

Conference delegates said that while the Minister needed to ensure that additional funding was allocated for universities in next year's Budget, the $19 million that had not been spent in the private tertiary sector this year could be immediately reallocated to universities. "This would show some genuine desire to resolve funding difficulties," said AUS National President Dr. Bill Rosenberg.

Mr. Maharey told the AUS conference that a number of new initiatives would focus on building capacity and assisting the sector "to transition to the new tertiary environment". He outlined details of a planned Review of the Tertiary Education Workforce which will be conducted over 2004 and the first half of 2005; a Review of Quality designed to enhance the quality of teaching and learning; and the proposed teaching performance element of the funding framework.

Mr. Maharey said he intended to work with stakeholders, including staff and students, to identify needs that the tertiary education system, aligned with the Tertiary Education Strategy, will be required to meet in the future. He gave several examples, such as the Canterbury Tertiary Alliance, where efficiencies within the system could "flourish and contribute to an improved sector performance".

In response to questions, Mr. Maharey said that the establishment and compliance costs would also reduce with the on-going implementation of the Performance-based Research Fund.

Ends


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