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ITPs prepared for budget cuts

ITPs prepared for budget cuts

New Zealand’s polytechnics and institutes of technology are preparing to cope with substantial cuts in funding expected to be announced in this week’s Budget, NZ ITP Chairman James Buwalda says.

New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (NZ ITP) says the cuts will hurt, but the sector has prepared for them pragmatically.

“Funding is being cut at a time when demand for our services is increasing,” Dr Buwalda said today. “As the job market has tightened, we have more people wanting to access tertiary education to get qualifications that will help them. But the sector has planned for this responsibly and will be able to cope.”

Dr Buwalda said the 2010 Budget is expected to include significant cuts and changes for the ITP sector, with special funds expiring, funding for some programme areas withdrawn and other funding held back pending performance reviews.

“The ITP sector is already moving to develop more efficient, innovative and flexible operations. This means that students, employers and the Government will get more value for money and New Zealand will benefit through a more skilled and productive workforce.”

He said the ITP sector would continue to make complex and far-reaching changes in the next few years, including better links with schools to support transitions to tertiary education, streamlined and higher level qualifications, more flexible and cost-effective delivery, stronger links with industry, and better value from capital investment.

“Our members generally turned in strong financial performances for the 2009 academic year, and now have more cash available to reinvest in facilities and to fund organisational change. We expect our members will show strong financial results again in 2010 and will be ready to adjust to the tighter funding environment in 2011 and beyond.”

“ITPs are the most popular places for adults to study in New Zealand. Their continued success in the wake of funding cuts to be announced in the Budget is important for all our futures.”

About 200,000 New Zealanders will study at New Zealand polytechnics and institutes of technology this year.


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