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Funding boost for universities

28 June 2006

Funding boost for universities

Universities are to get a funding boost of $26 million over the coming year, Minister for Tertiary Education, Michael Cullen announced today.

The announcement follows Tripartite Forum discussions between the government, university vice-chancellors and unions over the past year, and a report prepared earlier this year by the accountancy firm Deloitte.

The report showed that New Zealand universities are under-funded and that salaries are inadequate as a result. It also indicated that universities in New Zealand do not have the internal capacity to increase salaries to the required level.

Dr Cullen said the funding package would help ensure the long term sustainability of universities and would be split among the eight universities.

"We need to retain and recruit the best teachers and researchers if universities are to continue to deliver high quality tertiary education. If we are to transform this economy it is vital we maintain the quality of teaching and research and ensure our universities remain internationally competitive."

The government is seeking a commitment on the part of universities that this additional funding will contribute to increased performance within the university sector.

"The $26 million is an initial injection of funds to address immediate issues. Future funding will be determined by the proposed tertiary reforms."

Dr Cullen said he acknowledged the commitment of the parties involved in the Tripartite Forum discussions.

"The resourcing needs of universities cannot be addressed by the government alone. We are very pleased with the significant goodwill shown by the vice-chancellors and university unions during this process."

Background: The Tripartite Forum

The Universities’ Tripartite Forum was established in July 2005 by the then Minister of Education, Hon Trevor Mallard, with the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee and the combined university unions. The purpose of the Forum is to "address salaries, staffing and other resourcing issues" facing universities.

ENDS

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