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Maharey urges universities to work together

05 May 2000

Maharey urges universities to work together

New Zealand's eight universities must work together if they are to succeed in the future, Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey said this evening.

Mr Maharey was speaking to a seminar on 'New Zealand Universities in the new millennium' organised by the Victoria University of Wellington Alumni Association in Wellington. The new Government had campaigned against the excesses of the tertiary education marketplace created by National. Labour and the Alliance were now moving to dismantle this marketplace in favour of a collaborative and cooperative system where each institution makes a unique contribution to a nationwide system of tertiary education.

"New Zealand's universities have an important role to play in developing the knowledge society, but they no longer have monopoly rights. Changes in the tertiary sector and in the world of business mean that our top researchers and scientists are just as likely to work for large companies or in some polytechnics.

"The challenge for each university is to become innovative and to make a unique contribution. The marketplace model which has dominated for the last decade has encouraged duplication rather than specialisation and the development of expertise.

"The Government recognises that repositioning our universities away from competing with each other and encouraging specialisation will mean that some difficult decisions will need to be taken.

"All our tertiary institutions have statutory autonomy and the Government does not plan to erode this. However within this framework I am clearly stating our desire to see institutions planning and working together.

"Last month I established the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission to provide an independent forum where tertiary institutions can map out their future together. The Commission began meeting last week and will begin reporting to me next month", Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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