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Both funding and structures key to long-term

The latest exploration of a partnership or merger opportunity between two tertiary education institutions is further evidence that we need to rethink the sector’s funding system, the TEU said.

Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury (UC) announced yesterday that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore partnership or merger opportunities.

The announcement from Lincoln’s vice chancellor, James McWha, noted that the exploration of options was needed to address issues facing the sectors, particularly around encouraging more people to study and work in the land-based sectors, increasing productivity and developing solutions to present and future technological, social and environmental challenges.

“The issues faced by Lincoln and other small tertiary institutions cannot be addressed by simply restructuring the way tertiary education institutions are managed and organised,” says Sandra Grey, TEU National President.

“Underfunding and poor policy decisions over the last decade have meant that Lincoln University has undergone almost constant restructuring and course closures. This means we need to explore both the structural and funding issues facing Lincoln University if we want to ensure a stable and long-term future for those wanting to teach, learn, and research there.”
The Government is committed to Lincoln remaining at its present site and retaining its brand and identity. However, Grey notes that the last government made similar promises about mergers and partnerships but failed to deliver. “Past mergers in the tertiary education sector have led to course closures, job cuts, and lost opportunities for students, their families, and communities.”

“We need a commitment to the current levels of provision and to ensuring that the Lincoln University and University of Canterbury leaders take seriously staff and student voice. Those working and learning at Lincoln who can offer expertise and experiences that will ensure any merger or partnership is successful.”

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