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Polytechnic financial results a National embarrassment

Maryan Street
Tertiary Education Spokesperson

3 June 2014

Polytechnic financial results a National embarrassment

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce should hang his head in shame following the dismal financial results of our polytechnics, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“It is unsurprising that three years into a four year funding freeze, the finances of polytechnics are deteriorating.

“All but one of our institutes of technology and polytechnics are reportedly in worse financial shape than they were a year ago. Twelve out of a total of 18 reportedly failed to make the 3 per cent surplus required by the Government, and three of those ran deficits.

“Our tertiary institutions are being asked to do more and more with less and less.

“Over the past five years the Government has sucked more than $60 million out of institutes of technology and polytechnics. This comes at the same time as enrolments are falling.

“The pressure on our polytechnics is unsustainable. We cannot expect them to continue to exist on this current flawed business model. These institutions need help.

“If the Government is serious about filling skills gaps in our economy, then it should be looking to boost polytechnics and the courses they offer rather than consistently cutting them back.

“National should be supporting polytechnics so they become significant contributors to regional development. But unfortunately the regions have been left to wither and die under this Government.

“Labour will restore polytechnics to their previous role in skills development which maximises their regional opportunities and contribution to regional economic development,” Maryan Street says.

ENDS

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