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Government committed to a strong future for Vic.

Government committed to a strong future for Victoria

The Government is committed to a strong future for Victoria University of Wellington, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Students and from staff Victoria University's School of Earth Sciences protested at Parliament this afternoon over proposed staffing and subject cuts. Mr Maharey said that the Government had had several meetings with university representatives and had impressed upon them the need to take a long-term strategic approach to the future development of the institution.

"The future of Victoria University of Wellington is very important to this Government.

"Final decisions about staffing and teaching programmes are the responsibility of the university's Council and I am not legally able to direct it. However, I have taken the oppportunity to emphasise to university Council, management, staff and student representatives the Government's vision for tertiary education and the strong future which Victoria has within this framework.

"The Government is developing a cooperative and collaborative nation-wide system of tertiary education. We are rapidly moving to develop a new funding system which will give specialist centres of research and teaching long-term financial security. New funding arrangements can be expected from our next budget.

"Within this framework, I would expect all tertiary providers to think very carefully about shedding the programmes which make them distinctive. My on-going discussions with Victoria representatives have indicated very clearly that they have the long-term academic and financial interests of the university at heart, and that this accords very well with the tertiary vision of the Government.

"Victoria suffered annual funding cuts across the nine years National was in power and is in an understandably difficult financial position. The new Government has begun to turn these cuts around and we are committed to getting all our tertiary instituions back on a strong footing again," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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