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Protests Planned Tomorrow Over Foundation Studies Cut

Media Release
Tertiary Education Union
21 November 2012

Protests Planned Tomorrow Over Foundation Studies Cut

TEU will be holding protests and meetings at polytechnics around the country tomorrow to convince the government to put more money into foundation studies education at polytechnics.

A government change to the way it funds foundation studies education has seen the funding for public polytechnics cut from $38 million this year to only $6 million next year. As a result, thousands of students have lost places at polytechnics, dozens of courses are threatened with closure and dozens of respected and qualified tutors stand to lose their jobs.

TEU national president Sandra Grey says the funding change is an ideological experiment by the minister for tertiary education that has gone horribly wrong.

“Public money should go to local public institutions that were built by, belong to and are committed to their communities.”

“We understand the Tertiary Education Commission is meeting tomorrow to consider funding allocations. We will be protesting and meeting publicly to let it know that the government cannot abandon our foundation studies students, our local regions and their long-standing polytechnics. It needs to put money back into polytechnics.”

TEU events planned so far at 14 different campuses include:

• WITT TEU is leafleting the community in New Plymouth at lunchtime
• EIT TEU Taradale and Tairawhiti campuses are holding lunchtime BBQs and handing out information to the public
• Waiariki TEU is doing a mobile message board about the importance of public education to send to the local National MP
• MIT TEU is going to cut a cake and hold a protest on the main road outside the institution at 2pm (the cake shows a bigger slice of funding going to private providers than polytechnics)
• NMIT TEU is going to have a lunchtime event and have a polystyrene headstone to signal the death of Level 1 and 2 funding
• UCOL TEU Whanganui and Palmerston North are holding lunchtime protests
• Otago Polytechnic TEU is holding a lunchtime event
• Unitec TEU is also going to cut a cake and then head out leafleting
• Northtec TEU will be holding activities for members to share information about why Level 1 and 2 funding is so important
• Weltec TEU will be leafleting and cutting a cake at 12noon
• The Open Polytechnic will be doing the same at 10.00am


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