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Increase public funding of tertiary sector

9 March 2006

Increase public funding of tertiary sector

The New Zealand University Students’ Association joined calls today from the Association of University Staff (AUS) and the New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC) to increase funding for our public tertiary institutions.

“Students are calling on the government to front up and better fund tertiary education in this country,” said Conor Roberts, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“The report released today by the AUS and NZVCC shows how far we are behind our Aussie counterparts when it comes to government funding for our tertiary institutions. It is staggering to learn that Government funding only makes up 38 per cent of New Zealand universities income, compared to 46 per cent in comparable Australian universities.”

“The fact that Australian universities receive 40 per cent more funding per student should be enough for our government to realise that it needs to immediately increase funding to the tertiary sector.”

“It is concerning to learn that because of the under-funding, academic staff in Australia are paid 36 per cent more than staff here. Students hope that the recently established tri-partite forum between AUS, NZVCC and the government will result in better public funding of the tertiary sector,” said Joey Randall, Co-President of NZUSA.

“Over the past decade, whilst the percentage of government funding for tertiary institution’s income has dropped, the amount of fees paid by students has continued to increase. Fees can’t keep going up by exorbitant amounts to cover the shortfall in government funding year after year.”

“It is good to see that groups from across the tertiary sector are all saying the same thing. Under-funding of the tertiary sector is harming education in New Zealand.”

“We cannot keep failing behind,” Mr Randall concluded.

ENDS

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