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Students encouraged by proposed tertiary changes

April 2006

Students encouraged by proposed tertiary changes

"A good start to a better funding model," is how Joey Randall, co-president of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA), described Minister for Tertiary Education Dr Michael Cullen's speech yesterday on upcoming changes to the funding model for the tertiary sector.

"We are encouraged by the work of the Tertiary Education Commission and the Minister in this area and look forward to engaging with the discussions that are to come"

"Students have been saying for a decade that a simple 'bums on seats' market driven model for funding tertiary education would not and has not worked for students"

"It is positive to see that the changes will focus on addressing the needs of students and the wider community. We hope that the funding changes will result in a closer focus on the quality of our students' education and mean that the qualifications they gain will be relevant to the communities they live in and the jobs they get. It is important that students and their communities are actively engaged in the determination of what is a relevant qualification is."

Mr. Randall also noted the need for any changes to be supported by increased public funding. "It is important to recognise that a system that funds courses based on quality and relevance is only useful in increasing quality and relevance if institutions are adequately funded in the first place."

"Introducing elements of cooperation and community relevance should move us away from the lolly scramble model where institutions competed to grab student fees and government funding," he concluded.

ENDS

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