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Wrong choice for learning our way out of recession

Wrong choice for learning our way out of recession

“Cutting the funding supporting academic salaries in universities will have major ramifications for the future of research and learning in New Zealand” says TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs. That money was introduced to help New Zealand retain our best university academics and staff as well as to compete internationally for the best staff. Recently Australia responded to the global recession by investing over AU$5 billion in tertiary education and the United States has invested over US$30 billion. The decision to cut the tripartite funding combined with other countries’ investment programmes in tertiary education means that New Zealand universities may not be able to address the pay disparities internationally. If we don’t want our brightest academics and researchers here in New Zealand then other countries will queue up for them.”

“Bad as it is, our current economic situation could have been the perfect context for addressing skill gaps in our workforce and giving young people the opportunities that a tertiary education can provide. The recession has created a surge in student enrolments – the money that the minister has promised is not enough to cover those students.”

“We had understood that this government was going to take the intelligent path to tackling this recession but what we are seeing in this budget is more cuts that will impact on the future viability of the workforce of this country.”

“Cutting money from so many important numeracy, literacy and skill enhancement initiatives is also a poor decision. These kinds of projects are an important way to link tertiary education to the very people who most need a new chance in our struggling economy,” concludes Ms Riggs.

ENDS

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