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Govt uni investment up 13.5% in four years

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills & Employment

23 May 2012

Govt uni investment up 13.5% in four years

The Government has increased its investment in New Zealand’s universities by 13.5 per cent over the past four years, latest figures from the Tertiary Education Commission show.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce says New Zealand’s universities continue to sustain strong financial performances that reflect the increasing size of the Government’s investment in them.

“The Government invested $1.394 billion, primarily in tuition subsidies and the Performance Based Research Fund, in the university sector in 2011. This funding is an increase of 3.6 per cent on 2010 levels and an increase of 13.5 per cent on annual government funding levels since 2008,” Mr Joyce says.

The numbers do not include additional funding paid over for research from other budgets like Vote Science and Innovation and the Primary Growth Partnership.

“The increased investment in universities has been achieved in very tight fiscal circumstances and has resulted in stronger fiscal and education performances over the last four years,” Mr Joyce says.

“Strong universities play a crucial part in lifting innovation across our economy, and the Government is working hard to further strengthen our university performance with a number of initiatives that will assist them in making an even greater contribution to our country’s future.”

In 2011:
• New Zealand’s eight universities grew their total incomes by 2.9 per cent from $3.12 billion to $3.22 billion in 2011
• New Zealand’s universities had a combined surplus of $132.2 million (up from $128.6 million in 2010)
• The universities’ net assets remained steady at $5.9 billion.

“These results are particularly pleasing given the impact of the Global Financial Crisis and Canterbury earthquakes,” Mr Joyce says.

Canterbury and Lincoln Universities’ surpluses were temporally increased by the inclusion of insurance monies which are yet to be expended. Discounting net insurance proceeds would mean the University of Canterbury would have recorded a surplus of $9.5 million and Lincoln University a deficit of $2.1 million.

Across all universities, the surplus before unusual items such as insurance proceeds was $108 million in 2011.

The report is available at:


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