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Funding rules for low-level courses wasteful

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

7 August 2006


Labour’s funding rules for low-level courses wasteful

A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into a computer course at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology shows how wasteful the Government’s rules are for low-level tertiary courses, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

The investigation found that courses at NMIT subject to a complaint to the Auditor-General by National MP Nick Smith complied with Government rules.

“The real scandal is that the rules allow the polytech to claim public money for far more than the actual hours it teaches,”says Mr English.

“Further investigation shows that the Tertiary Education Commission will pay for 266,000 hours of computer training time. The polytech can deliver only 101,000 hours of computer time. Attendance records show that only 11,000 students have enrolled since 2004.

“I don't blame the polytech – they are doing their best to meet the region’s needs.

“I blame Labour’s wasteful and ineffective tertiary policy that forces polytechs to cut corners to stay afloat.

“Dr Cullen has let this course run until the end of the year because he knows NMIT needs the money. The fact that the course will be cut back severely next year shows that even Dr Cullen thinks it can't continue,”says Mr English.

ENDS

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