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New funding for Medicine and Dentistry teaching

Association of University Staff

Media Release
Attn Education Reporter 7 December 2006

New funding for Medicine and Dentistry teaching welcomed

The announcement that funding for Medicine and Dentistry degree programmes will be increased by $24.6 million has been warmly welcomed by the Association of University Staff (AUS).

The additional funding has been allocated following a review which identified that there is a significant level of under funding for undergraduate medicine and dentistry education, and that our Schools of Medicine and Dentistry need to be able to recruit and retain highly skilled staff and that students have access to the highest quality learning.

AUS National President, Professor Nigel Haworth, said that the additional funding announced today comes on top of a $26 million funding package which resulted from the tripartite process among the Government, unions and vice-chancellors earlier in the year. “The additional funding which has come into the sector has shown the real value of constructive engagement with Government on important issues within the sector,” he said.

Professor Haworth said that a major problem facing the universities was the disparity between salaries paid to Medical and Dental specialists within the public health system and those in the universities. “Despite an internationally accepted view that salary rates between these to groups should be comparable, the current difference in base-salaries is around $20,000 per year,” he said. “Had this new funding not been made available, that differential would have ballooned to $49,000 within eight years.”

Current per student funding rates will be increased by more than $13,000 in Medicine and $14,000 in Dentistry from 1 January 2007.

Professor Haworth said that he expected this would allow for immediate negotiations between the Universities of Otago and Auckland to ensure that the additional funding supported the Government’s objective of addressing staff recruitment and retention issues.

Ends

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