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Review to look at anomalies in tertiary ed. costs

24 July 2003 Media Statement

Funding review to look at anomalies in tertiary course costs

A review of the costs involved of running some tertiary education courses has been announced by Steve Maharey, Minister responsible for the Tertiary Education Commission.

The Funding Category Review will concentrate on areas of high strategic relevance where significant anomalies are believed to exist.

“There has been some concern for a while that the subsidy given for some groups is out of kilter with how others are funded. This review will look at programmes affecting about 20% of students,” said Steve Maharey.

The review follows a scoping study by sector experts into the relativity of funding of different areas in the tertiary sector which identified that some courses were potentially under funded relative to others.

The government has agreed to review the following areas recommended by the scoping group:

- Natural and Physical Sciences with a laboratory component
- High-end Computer Science and Computer Applications (current Category A funding)
- Agriculture and Forestry
- Trades and Technical (with either high technological or high health and safety requirements)
- Creative Arts (excluding media studies and communications)
- Second language teaching including Te Reo; and
- Tikanga and Mätauranga Mäori (marae-based).

- Areas of particular national importance where student numbers are low but costs are high, identified as optical science (104 EFTS), medical imaging (207 EFTS), and osteopathy (59 EFTS);

- Taught postgraduate courses where the teaching requirements may be different from other levels of study; and

- Areas where the subsidy add-on (eg. Health clinical add-ons) to the Student Component system is less than $500 above or below a cost category (either positive or negative) or can easily be simplified;

“The government is also concerned with the funding rates for some National Qualification Framework Level 1 and 2 courses, and will consider through the Funding Category Review whether different funding rates are required for different courses at these levels. This may result in a decrease in funding for some level one and two courses.

“The review will be a joint project between the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission and will begin shortly. Other funding anomalies may be considered in the future.

“Any changes resulting from the review will be announced as part of the 2004 Budget and implemented from the 2005 academic year,” said Steve Maharey.


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