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Tertiary education savaged in budget

Media Release
Tertiary Education Union
19 May 2011

Tertiary education savaged in budget

The Finance Minister Bill English said today that the government would invest about $3 billion into health and education alone. However, the reality is that tertiary education funding has been savaged.

The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update shows total spending on tertiary education falling by at least $200 million per year, or over 4 percent. (BEFU 19 May 2011, B.2 and B.3 page 177).

In 2010 the government invested $4.5 billion in tertiary education. In 2011 it forecasts it will spend $4.2 billion. By 2014 and 2015 this will have fallen even further to $4.145 billion. It is not just student loan funding that has been cut. Over the next four years, there are also cuts to tuition funding, student allowances and other funding.

"That means that polytechnics, universities and wānanga are going to struggle to give new students the opportunities they need to learn," says TEU national president Dr Sandra Grey. " It means that lecture theatres, tutorials and workshops will be crammed with more students and fewer staff. And it means that student fees will continue to rise beyond the reach of the people we most want to give the chance to learn."

ENDS

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