Govt Gives In Over Tertiary Row
National's spokesman on Tertiary Education Maurice Williamson says the Government's $35 million package for tertiary institutions is "a face saving gesture" which does nothing to address the real problems afflicting the tertiary sector.
"At Budget time Dr Cullen stood firm, saying the 2.6% increase was a final offer with no room for negotiation, and that tertiary institutions could take it or leave it.
"However with the August 31 deadline looming, and the tertiary sector showing no sign of giving in, Dr Cullen's knees have turned to jelly.
"$35 million has magically appeared to assist in the transition to the new environment created by TEAC. What makes that doubly laughable is that no-one even knows what the environment is - there is still no clear understanding how the new system will operate.
"This is a sweetener, pure and simple. The Government is attempting to save face by capitulating without admitting it in so many words.
"This money may serve to keep tertiary institutions quiet for now, but it does nothing to improve the quality of education and will have a minimal impact on student debt, which is growing at an ever increasingly alarming rate under this Labour Government.
"What this shows is that Steve Maharey doesn't have a clue in his head about how to address the real issues. He's stumbling along in the moment, buying his way out of conflicts, while failing to do anything which will improve things long-term for those working or studying in the tertiary sector," Maurice Williamson said.