Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


University staff warn of National’s leap backwards

The Association of University Staff says that the National Party is gearing up to return tertiary-education to the uncontrolled free-market approach of the 1990’s, encouraging competition rather than cooperation among public tertiary-education providers, and making them less accountable for their actions.

In a major speech to the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic this morning, National Party Leader, Dr Don Brash, said that, if elected, National would reduce the education bureaucracy and allow institutions alone to make decisions according to what he described as a “high-trust” model with fewer rules about how they operate.

AUS general Secretary, Helen Kelly said that, while Dr Brash noted that governments owe it to taxpayers and students to ensure that the tertiary education dollar is being spent wisely, it was naïve to believe that institutions acting in isolation to each other would make decisions in the best national interest.

“Recent history shows that deregulation of tertiary education resulted in the unnecessary duplication of courses, an escalation of student tuition fees and the breakdown in cooperation and collaboration among tertiary-education providers,” Ms Kelly said. “National’s proposals would mean that current policies, aimed towards a clearly defined long-term strategy and planned direction for tertiary-education in New Zealand, would inevitably break down.”

Ms Kelly said that current policy proposals, such as recognising and funding different types of tertiary-education providers on the basis of their distinctive roles, rewarding constructive behaviour and regulating student tuition fees would resulting in better and more productive education outcomes for the country as a whole, and that these would be compromised if Dr Brash’s free-market approach prevailed.

Ms Kelly also said that attacking the tertiary-education “bureaucracy”, such as proposed by Dr Brash, would see a return to the types of behaviour such as the funding rorts and enrolment inducements that had been evidenced from the likes of the Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology in the last few years.


For further information or comment please contact
Helen Kelly
General Secretary, Association of University Staff (AUS)
Phone (04) 915 6690 (work)
(04) 385 3153 (home)
Mobile 027 436 6308

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>