Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Community education under control

6 August 2004 Media Statement

Community education under control – National crying crocodile tears

Community education enrolments at polytechnics have been decisively dealt with, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Following the release yesterday of the Tertiary Education Commission’s report into enrolments in the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology’s COOL course, National’s education spokesperson Bill English this afternoon called for further investigations into community education enrolments at five further institutions.

Steve Maharey said the government had fully investigated community education enrolments at all institutions where problems had occurred and had announced clear new funding rules to ensure enrolments remain within manageable levels in the future.

“The government has decisively dealt with the community education issue. We acted as soon as it became clear that some institutions were enrolling more students than they had previously advised the Commission they were expecting.

“Specifically:
- in October 2003 the government became aware that student numbers were increasing above Budget estimates. Further investigation revealed much of the growth was in community education enrolments
- in November 2003 I advised polytechnics that they needed to be cautious about unforecast growth, or the government would have to cap overall numbers
- in February 2004 the government determined it would be necessary to cap enrolments and begun discussions with institutions about how the cap would be implemented
- in May 2004 a cap on student numbers and a reduction in per student subsidies for community education enrolments was announced
- in July 2004 institutions were informed how the cap on community education enrolments would individually impact on them.

“The new funding arrangements ensure that community education courses can still be offered at institutions across the country and that we can also invest in other forms of priority education, such as trades training.

“Bill English really has no credibility on the community education issue. The reason that some institutions were able to rapidly increase their enrolments is because the National government uncapped tertiary funding in 1998. We have now recapped funding for community education.

“This is part of a wider reform of the entire tertiary funding system we inherited from National which shifts from a purely demand-driven approach to one centered on the nations’ economic and social development.

“Bill English has today singled out five institutions and demanded further inquiries. In every case we have already acted.

“The cap on student numbers and funding will ensure that institutions teaching a large number of community education students (such as UCOL, Manukau Institute of Technology and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi) will return their enrolments to the sort of levels they were teaching before enrolments grew rapidly.

“We have also dealt with the issues raised about community education enrolments at Tairawhiti Polytechnic and the Eastern Institute of Technology. An independent audit was conducted of Tairawhiti Polytechnic’s community education enrolments at the government’s request and TEC investigated EIT’s community education enrolment procedures, and found they they were in accordance with the rules.

“Perhaps the most startling comments from Bill English today came when he said he wanted to fire polytechnic staff and tell students what courses they should take. Tertiary institutions in New Zealand are autonomous and are not micromanaged by politicians.

“No civilised country in the world has a Minister sitting behind the desk making decisions about who gets to learn what, when and how. Bill English’s aspiration to do so is nothing short of ridiculous,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news