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Budget: No Surprises For Universities

Media Release 17 May 2007

Budget: No Surprises For Universities

Today’s Budget contains no surprises for universities with all the major initiatives affecting the eight institutions having been announced beforehand.

Professor Roy Sharp, chair of the universities’ representative body, the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, says apart from an extra $14 million over four years to the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) and adjustments to student allowances, all Budget provisions affecting universities were revealed last week.

“It’s essentially a steady-as-you-go Budget and will not make a major difference to the way universities operate in the medium term.”

The main elements which would impact on universities over the next year were:

• $20 million of tripartite funding to assist with improving salaries in 2007/8;
• A CPI adjustment of 2.2 per cent on current funding baselines;
• A small adjustment of $4 million to the PBRF for 2008;
• $10 million for collaborative initiatives to increase capacity across the university system;
• Provision to increase funding to universities to reflect student movement from low cost to high cost courses over the next three years; and
• A $2 million increase to the Marsden Fund for basic research, from $33.9 to $35.9 million.

Professor Sharp says that, to date, the tertiary education reforms have been concerned more with restructuring funding processes than increasing the amount of resources available for investment in universities.


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