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Public money boosting ad agencies' coffers

28 June 2006

Public money boosting ad agencies' coffers

The Green Party is appalled that publicly-funded tertiary institutions collectively spent an estimated $28 million on self-promotion last year while many students are struggling to make ends meet and courses are being cut.

NZUSA today released figures showing that public tertiary institutions spent about $28,162,551 on advertising and marketing in 2005.

Greens Tertiary Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says: "This represents a huge waste of public money. Students are borrowing money interest free from the Government to pay their fees so that these institutions can spend up large on advertising campaigns to compete with each other for more students.

"The current Equivalent Full Time Student funding model forces this competition. The Government must fulfil its promise and move away from funding institutions based on quantity of students.

Today Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen, announced that university funding will be boosted by $26 million per annum. He described the funding package as helping to ensure the long term sustainability of universities. The money would be split among the eight universities, Mrs Turei says.

"That's good news but it's less than the institutions spend on self-promotion. This is public money that should be spent on education being funnelled direct from the taxpayer to the Ad Man," Mrs Turei says.

"For some years now the Government has acknowledged that the present system is not working.

Dr Cullen signalled a major revamp of the tertiary sector after the last election. It is really time to see some progress in that direction.


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