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Polytechnics in other regions could be at risk

The leaked Cabinet document on polytechnic reforms suggests polytechnics who have campuses or branches outside of the region may cease to exist, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“One of the statements in the document seems to suggest that polytechs will no longer compete for out of region learners. This would apply to most polytechnics who also have a campus in the major centres.

“When this is combined with the Government’s regular scoffing of Queen Street education providers it raises real concerns that the out of region provision will be disestablished.

“Many polytechnics have an out of region campus that is critical for maintaining funding and for recruiting international students before sending them onwards to regional campuses.

“The benefit to out of region campuses is well in advance of tens of millions of dollars and they often teach courses that other local polytechnics are unable to provide.

“Removing out of region campuses would be one of the hidden but more damaging aspects of the reforms and Education Minister Chris Hipkins needs to come clean on whether this is on the table or not.

“National will fight for regional education and we will fight these ideological reforms.”

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