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United's Tertiary Policy

New Zealanders must have access to education at all stages of life, from early childhood through primary, secondary, tertiary education and on to lifelong learning. Education is the key to full participation in the life of the community, to enhanced employment opportunities, to health and well-being and the formation of good relationships. United New Zealand believes education is a public good and must therefore be publicly funded.

Administration

UNITED WILL:

 Retain tertiary institutions in public ownership as this is the best way for them to fulfil their statutory obligations to:
 teach and research
 account for educational and financial outcomes
 protect academic freedom and autonomy
 develop and implement strategic plans
 report annually to Parliament
 Ensure the National Qualifications Framework is linked to tertiary institutions.
 Review the structure of tertiary councils. Resolution must be reached through consultation and negotiation to guarantee institutions enjoy flexibility. Ministerial appointments should comprise no more than a third of the councils, and staff and students should retain representation.

Funding

UNITED WILL:

 Recognise the present range of tertiary education providers. We are committed to the principles of institutional autonomy and academic freedom as set out in the 1989 Education Act. We will not undermine the right of institutions to manage their educational and financial affairs and therefore we will not interfere in the setting of fees.
 Increase core funding for tertiary institutions to 80% of the course costs and indicative triennial funding.
 Invest in a greater number of equivalent full-time student (EFT) places for higher degrees.

Student Support

UNITED WILL:

 Abolish parental income testing of student allowances for students over 20 years.
 Limit interest on student loan repayments to movements in the CPI (Consumers Price Index) and administration costs.
 Develop a system of scholarships for higher degree and diploma students in conjunction with the private sector.
 Require tertiary institutions to include policies on disabled students in the charters and to report on these annually.

ALSO:

 Tertiary institutions to remain publicly owned.
 The structure of Tertiary Councils reviewed.
 Increased core funding for tertiary institutions at 80% of the course costs.
 More EFT places for higher degrees.
 Abolish parental income testing of student allowances for students over 20 years.
 Reduced interest on student loan repayments.
 A system of scholarships for higher degree and diploma students in conjunction with the private sector.
 Tertiary institution policies for students with disabilities.

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