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New funding arrangements welcome, say staff

27 July 2006

New funding arrangements welcome, say university staff

The Association of University Staff (AUS) has welcomed the announcement of a new funding system for tertiary education, saying differentiation between the types of tertiary education organisations will allow the high overhead costs faced by research-based universities to be recognised by the Government.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Dr Michael Cullen, this morning announced that the current system, of funding tertiary education simply on the basis of enrolments would be replaced by one which recognised the distinctive nature of tertiary education organisations. Funding would also be determined on the basis of three year plans, outlining how each institution will meet the education and training needs of students, employers and communities.

AUS National President, Professor Nigel Haworth, said that it had long been accepted that universities have been disadvantaged by the current EFTS-based or "bums-on-seats" funding model, and today's announcement ought to make it possible for universities to be funded to deliver high-quality university education. "The three year funding cycle will also allow institutions to make better long-term strategic decisions," he said.

Professor Haworth also noted that this announcement is one aspect of a longer term reform project and emphasised the AUS commitment to the project's consultation process.

The new funding system will be phased in from 2008

ENDS

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