Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Tertiary providers and unions hope for further funding boost

8:12 pm on 14 May 2018

Tertiary institutions are hoping Labour's first budget will deliver some financial relief after a decade of austerity but National says there won't be any money left in the coffers once the government forks out for its zero fees policy.

Tertiary Education Union national president Sandra Grey. Photo: Supplied

Tertiary Education Union president Sandra Grey said tertiary education spending was $3.7 billion short of where it should be.

"That has real world impacts," she said.

"We've had 130 reviews or so in the last year of programmes of teaching, of libraries of support services and we've seen cuts to services, cuts to teaching, cuts to where we'll deliver."

During its three terms, the National government increased student subsidies for a small number of subjects but delivered minimal or no increases to most others, while telling the sector to enrol more foreign students if it wanted more money. It also reduced or cut access to loans and allowances for postgraduate and older students.

Education minister Chris Hipkins said the future of the sector was probably one of the biggest challenges facing the government.

"It's not just a case of saying, 'Oh well gosh, we'll put some more money into that and then we'll solve the problem.' It won't."

National Party tertiary education spokesperson Paula Bennett said the government would have little money for tertiary education because its policy would cost $2.8 billion over four years.

"I don't expect much for tertiary. I think they've already spent it, and in an area where they're not really getting results for it either," she said.

Ms Grey said there were a lot of demands on this year's budget but it was time for the government to at least begin the process of restoring tertiary education funding.

"We don't have a lot of hope that this is going to be the budget that actually turns things around, but we want a signal that this government has a real plan for how we make sure that all Kiwis have access to the things we need, like a tertiary education."

Institutes of technology and polytechnics were particularly hard hit by a combination of a downturn in enrolments and the lack of government funding.

New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (NZITP) spokesperson Charles Finny said a funding increase would be welcome.

"Certainly funding has not kept pace with costs," he said.

Universities New Zealand chief executive Chris Whelan said the decline in funding had contributed to universities' steady drop in international ranking tables.

"We're starting to see a real pressure on the New Zealand university system just to maintain quality."

Mrs Bennett said academic salaries needed to be competitive to ensure universities' research was regarded internationally.

"We want to be keeping the best and the brightest here in New Zealand and to do that we have to have universities that can compete internationally."

New Zealand of Union of Students' Associations president Jonathan Gee said he hoped the budget would include further spending on loans and allowances.

"There needs to be some urgent attention to other areas of student support that haven't yet been addressed such as the lack of a postgraduate allowance, such as the age discrimination placed on those over 40 in terms of the student allowance, and loan living costs as well."

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Be Anxious About Artificial Intelligence

Frankly, the prospect of possibly losing half the existing forms of paid employment to AI does make me feel extremely anxious, given the indifference shown by central government to the downstream social damage caused by the reform process last time around... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Tom Wolfe The Parajournalist

As New Journalism’s primary advocate, Tom Wolfe headed the field with such experimental forces as Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson, all dedicated to enriching supposedly factual accounts with excessive flourishes that hurried out the beige in favour of the kaleidoscopic. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Racism And The Windsors

For all the talk about the modernizing effect that Meghan Markle could have on the Royal Family, the suspicion all along has been that the House of Windsor is resistant to change at any level beyond the purely decorative. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Prospects Of US Talks With North Korea

On June 12, the leaders of North Korea and the United States will meet across a table in Singapore, and Kim Jong Un must already be feeling giddy at the thought that this meeting is already being described with the word “summit” formerly reserved for meetings between superpowers of equal stature... Image: Steve Bolton NZ's contribution to the IAEA’s work on North Korea

  • United Nations - UN chief ‘optimistic’ over peace efforts
  • David Swanson - Enough is Enough. The Time Has Come to BDS the US - Peace Comes to Korea: Let’s Understand Why
  • CTBTO - CTBTO on North Korea
  • NZ Govt - NZ welcomes talks between North and South Korea
  • Massey University - Nukes to cyber war – NZ security in focus
  • Jim Miles - The Doomsday Machine - Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
  • UNHCHR - North Korea detente: UN expert urges human rights opening
  • Binoy Kampmark - Trump, North Korea and Post-Olympic Angst
  • Gordon Campbell: On National’s Latest Attempts At Relevance

    Having ignored the existence of massive problems in health and education for nine years in government, it is no longer politically viable for National to maintain the pretence that such problems really don’t exist, or are somehow unworthy of serious concern by rational men of commerce.... More>>