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Tertiary reforms on right track, say staff

Association of University Staff

Media Release
Attn Education Reporter 14 December 2007

Tertiary education reforms on right track, say university staff

University staff have welcomed today’s announcement by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) that high-quality tertiary education is vital for New Zealand’s economic transformation and social development goals, and that universities will be expected to provide a broad mix of education.

The TEC today released the details of new, three-year, planning and funding arrangements for tertiary education organisations, which will see universities receive an additional 5.4 percent, or $60 million, in funding next year.

Association of University Staff (AUS) National President, Professor Nigel Haworth, said that, staff would be particularly pleased that the Government has set out its clear intention that students who want to go to university can continue to do so. “Given speculation over the last two weeks that enrolments may be limited at some universities, it is heartening to see that they are being required to look at ways to increase the participation and achievement by under-represented groups, particularly Māori and Pasifika,” he said. “While some universities may be considering restricting enrolments, an enrolment management process will be put in place which will not permit equity programmes to be compromised.”

Professor Haworth said that the investment plans, negotiated between individual institutions and the TEC, are clearly focused on increasing participation in university study, increasing postgraduate student numbers and requiring universities to increase their engagement with stakeholders to improve the relevance of education on offer and the research being undertaken.

Professor Haworth said that the AUS has long argued for an integrated approach to national university provision, which should replace the competitive model currently driving university decision-making. A co-operative model in tune with academic endeavor and national needs is needed, adding that the reforms announced today should go some considerable way to achieving this.


ENDS

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