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Government ad-hoc on tertiary status changes

Labour
2000 web siteLabour associate education spokesperson (tertiary) Steve Maharey said that the Government's announcement of a change of status for the Auckland Institute of Technology signals ad hoc policy-making that is difficult to understand.

"Just a few weeks ago, the Tertiary Education Minister Max Bradford was moaning that there were too many universities in New Zealand. Now he has granted another institution university status - what a contradiction," Steve Maharey said

"While AIT will be known as Auckland University of Technology, there is no legal definition of what a university of technology actually is nor has much thought gone into how it fits into the country's future need. It is an ad-hoc way of developing the tertiary education system."

Mr Maharey said that Labour was not opposed to AIT becoming a university of technology but had repeatedly stated its concern that any changes of this size should really be done within a framework setting out the future direction of the tertiary education system.

"Labour's tertiary education policy released last week talked of the need for institutions to collaborate and co-operate more.

"We signalled that Labour will be comfortable with mergers, alliances, partnerships and where applicable we will look at different kinds of institutions. But changes must be made with the best interest of the country in mind and so students get the best possible range of educational choices," Steve Maharey said.

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