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21 months of dallying in tertiary ed

Maurice Williamson National Tertiary Education Spokesperson

4 October 2001

21 months of dallying in tertiary ed

The Government's indecisive dallying over its plans for the tertiary education sector is deteriorating further, with the number of draft reports for the fourth TEAC report 'Implementing the Strategy' more than trebling those for the previous three reports, National's Tertiary Education spokesperson Maurice Williamson said today.

Mr Williamson today released a leaked copy of 'draft 18' of the fourth TEAC report 'Implementing the Strategy'.

"We know that five drafts were prepared for 'Shaping a Shared Vision', six drafts for 'Shaping the System' and five drafts for 'Shaping the Strategy'* but now TEAC are up to at least draft 18 of the 'Implementing the Strategy' report.

"Given the poor quality of the previous three reports after only five or six drafts, I wonder how confused the final version of the fourth report will be! The recommendations in draft 18 are interventionist and narrow-minded.

"Based on draft 18, there is no incentive to strive for excellence, no incentive to perform or to achieve. Recommendation nine effectively bans competition in the provision of tertiary education. Recommendation 35 rewards those who fail by giving some a higher level of funding. Recommendation 37 restricts funding for postgraduate degree programmes to universities, which effectively cuts the ability of Crown Research Institutes to use students to undertake research.

"What is clear is that Steve Maharey has no idea what he wants to do in tertiary education. He had nine years in opposition to work out his plan and 21 months as Minister to implement it but all he's produced is three reports that fall well short of the mark and another one that's set to be on par," Mr Williamson said.

Ends

* Parliamentary questions 11305, 11306 and 11307

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