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Media Release

Tuesday, 4 July 2006
Attention: Education and Political reporters
For immediate release

Don’t watch this space

Figures release by AC Nielson show that public tertiary institutions wasted over $28 million nationally on marketing and advertising campaigns that do not help students make decisions about their tertiary education studies

Otago Polytechnic spent over $760,000 on advertising in 2005. Figures show that expenditure on Marketing at Otago Polytechnic increased 33% or $191,603 between 2004 and 2005.

"Otago Polytechnic wasted an extra $190,000 on useless marketing campaigns last year which many students paid for with a 5% fee increase. This is not acceptable,” said Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association (OPSA) Co-President Richard Mitchell.

The Ministry of Education accepts that mass marketing campaigns for tertiary institutions do not work. This is also re-affirmed by potential students. Research by NZUSA showed that only 6% of students cite marketing campaigns as a reason why they choose the institution they did and even Minister of Tertiary Education Dr Michael Cullen has said that these campaigns are a waste of public and student money.

Unnecessary mass marketing campaigns by tertiary providers is a symptom brought about by the “bums on seats” model of funding tertiary institutions that doesn't deliver results for students and instead wastes public and student money on TV, radio and newspaper ads that have been shown to have little effect.

Natalie Absalom, Co-President of OPSA states “As both a student and tax-payer I find this sort of financial carelessness disgusting, it has to stop now!”

OPSA calls on the government to fund tertiary institutions in a manner that meets the needs of their communities.


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