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Labour punishes tertiary education high performers

Dr Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Tertiary Education Spokesman
8 November 2007

Labour punishes tertiary education high performers

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) should be rewarding high performing polytechnics, like the Southern Institute of Technology, which has demonstrated innovation, quality, and value for money, rather than punishing them by savagely cutting their funding, says National’s Tertiary Education spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

“Nearly half of the country’s polytechnics are facing cuts in student numbers next year, but the Southern Institute of Technology will be the worst hit. It could lose $8 million of funding if TEC insists on cutting student numbers from their successful distance learning programme and out-of-region programme, such as one they have in Christchurch.” Originally SIT was invited in to Christchurch by the Motor Industry Training Organization and Building Construction ITO because of quality and price issues.

Other polytechnics are expected to lose a total of $3 million.

“TEC is totally vague about a process known as ‘repatriation’, where polytechnics ask other polytechnics that are delivering courses in their region to stop those courses and surrender the associated EFTS.

“There has been talk of ‘threats’ from TEC that it would cut funding if a polytechnic did not ‘repatriate’ EFTS when requested by another polytechnic.

“Labour said it would institute a high trust, low compliance system, where quality, relevance and value for money would be the underlying prescription, but the very opposite is happening.

“There is no incentive for a top performing institute to continue to excel when it is punished by withdrawing funding only because it is operating out-of-region.

“The basic principle should be about quality and value for money, irrespective of where or who the provider is.”

ENDS

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