AUS Tertiary Update
Massey top paid VC
Massey University’s Judith Kinnear was New Zealand’s highest-paid New Zealand vice-chancellor last year, with a remuneration package worth between $360,000 and $369,999. It was around 4.6 times more than those of career-grade senior lecturers at Massey who were paid $78,278. Professor Kinnear’s remuneration for 2004 was up by around 12 percent on her 2003 earnings, then estimated to be annualised at approximately $320,000.
The figures, which have just been released in the State Services Commission Annual Report, also reveal that former Auckland and Otago Vice-Chancellors, Drs John Hood and Graeme Fogelberg, each received more than $300,000 for their last six and seven months’ tenure respectively, compared with $410,000 and $330,000 for the full year in 2003. Retiring Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bryan Gould, received $300,000 during his last year at that University.
In the case of departing vice-chancellors, the packages will have typically included unused annual leave, retiring leave and any performance-related bonuses.
Of the other vice-chancellors, Canterbury’s Professor Roy Sharp picked up more than $310,000 and Lincoln’s Professor Roger Field more than $250,000. Former Victoria Vice-Chancellor, and now Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, received $290,000. New University of Otago Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Skegg, received between $110,000 and $119,999 in his first five months at the helm, suggesting an annualised package worth around $275,000.
Vice-chancellors fared well by comparison to others in the wider public sector, with the chiefs of large organisations, such as Treasury and Inland Revenue, remunerated at $420,000, and six other large ministries, at around $400,000. Remuneration paid elsewhere in the public tertiary-education sector ranged between $270,000 for the controversial head of the Christchurch Polytechnic to $130,000 for the Chief Executive of Te Wananga o Raukawa.
Association of University Staff General Secretary Helen Kelly said that university staff would be alarmed to learn that some vice-chancellors’ salaries had increased at a rate higher than their staff at a time when they were being asked to accept low salary settlements because of underfunding. “Massey staff, for example, settled an agreement last year at 3% and this year 4.5%, significantly less than their Vice-Chancellor,” she said. “While most would agree that vice-chancellors should be well remunerated, they would not accept that such disparity was acceptable.”
Remuneration packages listed in the State Services Annual Report include base salary, the value of a motor vehicle, superannuation and any performance-related payments.
Also in Tertiary Update this
1. Canterbury latest to increase fees
2. Bill English retains Education role
3. Warning of tertiary-education staffing crisis
4. Tribunal recommends Crown suspends action on TWOA
5. Urgent funding needed for rural medicine
6. Canadian boom in research spending paying off
7. Arms link to UK universities
8. $15 billion to be cut from Federal student-loan programmes
9. Australia’s graduates not up to spying
Canterbury latest to increase fees
Canterbury is the latest university to increase tuition fees for 2006, this time by the maximum 5 percent allowed under the Government’s fee-maxima regulations. It means that, for domestic students, the fees for bachelors’ degrees will rise by just under $200, in the case of a Bachelor of Arts, from $3643 to $3825.
The Press reports Canterbury Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Sharp, as saying that increasing fees was a tough decision and that, while he regretted the impact it would have on students, it was needed to ensure that the University remained a high-quality one.
According to The Press, student representatives on Council argued that the increase should be limited to 2.8 percent which Students’ Association President, George Hampton, argued would still mean the University would still meet its Ministry of Education financial recovery-plan target. He said students were already struggling with living costs and it was unfair to add to their burden. “We can always spend more money. The question that really remains for councillors … is should we do it, and is it fair and is it justified for us to be doing it?”
In a report to the University Council, Chief Operating Officer Tom Gregg blamed rising costs, including an additional $420,000 of unbudgeted costs due to staff salary negotiations, for the increase.
In response, Association of University Staff Canterbury Branch President, Dr David Small, said that it was nonsense to lay the blame for tuition fees increase on staff-salary rises. He said that the recent salary increase accepted by staff annualised at less than 5 percent, and it was well within the capacity of the University to budget for that without increasing tuition fees to the level it had. “The University’s current financial performance is ahead of budget, and its projected operational surplus of around $8 million is at the top end of the Government’s guidelines,” he said. “In addition, the College of Arts is currently proceeding with plans to cut $1 million from its academic staff costs, so we think it is a bit rich once again to play off staff salary increases against rising tuition fees.”
Bill English retains Education role
Bill English has retained his role as the opposition spokesperson on Education in the National Party’s reshuffled line-up of spokespeople. His ranking in National’s team has also increased from fourth to third, immediately behind National leader Dr Don Brash and deputy-leader Gerry Brownlee.
Announcing his new line-up, Dr Brash said that Bill English’s elevation to number three underlines the critical role he will continue to play as part of the wider leadership team, having exposed “Labour’s complete mismanagement” of the Education portfolio during the last term of Parliament.
Many media commentators describe Mr English as one of the most consistent and effective of National’s performer’s over the last three years, campaigning against wastage and rorts in the tertiary education sector, and exposing, among them, the Cool IT scandal at the Christchurch Polytechnic.
Metiria Turei has been named as the Green Party spokesperson on Education, replacing Nandor Tanczos who lost his seat in the General Election.
Warning of tertiary education staffing
University of Waikato demographer, Professor Ian Pool, has been widely reported this week warning of a potential university-staffing crisis later this decade as the first wave of a “baby blip” hits tertiary education institutions at the same time as increasing numbers of university staff retire. He says the problem is being ignored and will only be solved by increasing investment in the university sector.
Education Review reports that school rolls are expected to reach a peak in 2008, indicating that the greatest influx of school leavers into tertiary education will be in 2009 and 2010. Professor Pool says that there will be 100,000 more people aged between fifteen and twenty-four in 2011 than in 2001. At the same time a bulge of retirements is forecast from universities.
Professor Pool told Education Review that the problems created by retirements would be compounded by redundancies currently being made at some universities. He said it took twelve years to train university staff, so the redundancies might be short-sighted.
According to Professor Pool, the staffing shortage would be particularly severe in science and technology because New Zealand had followed the British and European emphasis on training people in law and accounting instead of science and engineering. He said that policies were needed to train and keep highly skilled people in the country, adding that other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, had increased university funding specifically to increase staff numbers and head off looming shortages.
Tribunal recommends Crown suspends action on
The Waitangi Tribunal has recommended that the Crown and Te Wananga o Aotearoa Council suspend all critical actions or decisions relating to the future direction of the Wananga until the Tribunal’s inquiry and report are completed.
The Tribunal has granted urgency to hearing a claim, lodged on behalf of the Aotearoa Institute, the Wananga’s parent body, that the Crown’s failure to honour an agreement to pay the Wananga $20 million due under a suspensory loan until it satisfies a requirement that it has a proportion of 80 percent Maori students is both illegal and racially divisive.
The Tribunal found that the evidence seemed to show increasing intervention by the Crown in the affairs of TWOA, and said there was little doubt that, if the draft charter and profile are put in place and implemented, it would mean a significant and ongoing change to the vision and future of the Wananga. “If the claimants are correct in their assertion that they have not been consulted on the future direction of TWOA, in accordance with Treaty principles, then they will have suffered irreversible prejudice by reason of loss of a degree of control and input into the future of the institution that they created,” the decision said.
The Tribunal has stated that the inquiry will focus on the role that the claimants ought to be able to play in determining the future direction of Te Wananga o Aotearoa and the role of the Crown in those decisions, the Treaty responsibilities of the Crown in ensuring that the claimants can take up that role, and the question of what a wananga is, and how best to achieve a proper conception of the wananga that will inform the process of putting a charter in place to guide the future of Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
It is expected that the claim will be heard in late November, and a decision released before the end of the year.
Urgent funding needed for
The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) released its Rural Curricula policy this week, saying that government funding is urgently needed for a rural undergraduate curriculum in New Zealand medical schools.
Xaviour Walker, President-elect of NZMSA, said that New Zealand is currently facing a serious shortage of rural doctors, and that a well-resourced and well-designed undergraduate rural curriculum could play a significant and positive role in recruiting New Zealand trained doctors to work in rural areas.
Mr Walker said that, in 2004, the medical faculties at the Universities of Auckland and Otago submitted a proposal to Government to get $12 million to fund a twelve-month rural curriculum for rural-origin students and a twelve-week rural attachment for all students. “The full funding was agreed to, and promised in 2004, but has not been delivered,” he said. “In 2004, the Government also attempted to address the rural workforce shortage by creating forty additional funded places in our medical schools. However these students currently have limited medical training in rural areas. For long-term solutions we need to appropriately fund a rural-career training pathway to provide the skills needed to practice in rural New Zealand.”
“Rural medical education represents an investment in the health system, as well as education,” said Mr Walker. “The rural community is an integral part of New Zealand, and there must be efforts by the Government to provide a sustainable rural medical workforce.”
Canadian boom in research spending paying off
Canadian universities say they are on track to double financial support for campus research and to triple their gross income from commercialising discoveries by 2010, according to a report issued on Monday this week. It is the first attempt by the higher-education sector to show the value of a multibillion-dollar rise in government spending on university research.
The report, compiled by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, estimates that universities have received more than $US9.26 billion since 1999 from new Federal research programs, including the Canada Research Chairs and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, as well as increased support for graduate students, more money for grant-making agencies, and a permanent fund to defray the indirect costs of research.
The increased spending is showing results, with the report concluding that, from 1999 to 2003, there was an 84 percent increase in the value of universities’ industrial-research contracts, a 25 percent rise in the number of spin-off companies, and a near doubling of new patent applications. The universities are also well on their way to meeting their target of doubling the amount of research they do.
The report, “Momentum: The 2005 Report on University Research and Knowledge Transfer,” is available on the Association’s Web site.
From The New York Times
Arms link to UK universities
Universities in the United Kingdom will face unprecedented pressure to scrap multimillion-pound investments in the arms trade after a campaign group used the Freedom of Information Act to “name and shame” institutions with shareholdings in weapons’ manufacturers.
The Campaign against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has listed sixty-seven universities that are “substantial” investors in six leading arms companies, and expects that the data, published this week, will subject universities to increased scrutiny.
The CAAT has listed an “Ivy League” of the ten biggest investors, which together hold at least thirty-three million shares in six firms. It includes Cambridge and Oxford Universities, which combined hold more than three million shares, and Swansea, Liverpool, Exeter, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham Universities. The single biggest holder of shares is the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the lecturers’ pensions body, with more than twenty-four million shares in the six firms.
While universities with substantial arms investments stressed their obligation to maximise investment returns, campaigners argued they would have to consider their images, especially with overseas students.
From The Times Higher
$15 billion to be cut from Federal student-loan
Republican leaders of the United States House of Representatives Education Committee have unveiled legislation that would cut up to $15-billion from the Government’s student-loan programmes over the next five years. The proposed reductions are part of a broader Congressional effort to reduce the Federal budget deficit.
The Education Committee began to identify savings that could be generated from the loan programmes in July, when it approved legislation to reauthorise the Higher Education Act for six years. That Bill would produce $8.6 billion in savings from the loan programmes, primarily by reducing the subsidies private lenders receive from the Government and by making it more expensive for borrowers to lock in fixed interest rates when consolidating Federal student loans.
The new Bill, introduced on Tuesday, would also generate about $6 billion more in savings from the loan programmes. Some additional cuts would be made in the subsidies lenders and student-loan-guarantee agencies receive from the Government.
From The Chronicle of Higher Education
Australia’s graduates not up to
Australia’s security is at risk because poor funding of higher education meant universities cannot produce the quality of graduates that agencies such as Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) need to help fight terror, a leading academic has said.
International relations expert Michael McKinley, of the Australian National University, has said that the standard of the average bachelor’s graduate in the arts and social sciences, where most agents came from, was “unfortunately less than it was ten to twelve years ago”.
ASIO announced last week that it will increase staff from 980 to 1860 in the next five years and that it expected that most new agents would come from Islamic and other ethnic communities.
Dr McKinley said graduates hoping for a career in the security services needed analytical skills, which weren’t on offer in any degree short of a five-year course. “You need to have this deep knowledge of society and culture, politics and international politics and then into that you put your study of terrorism and counterterrorism,” he said. “But a shortage of money meant that universities had to take a broad approach: the smorgasbord is popular.”
“[The security agencies] need people who are capable of conducting quite high-level research using information which frequently is contested and ambiguous. I don't believe that that skill level is available,” Dr McKinley said.
From The Australian
AUS Tertiary Update is compiled weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Association of University Staff and others. Back issues are available on the AUS website: www.aus.ac.nz . Direct enquires should be made to Marty Braithwaite, AUS Communications Officer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org