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Cautious Welcome for new TEC Head

AUS WEB SITE
The Association of University Staff (AUS) has reacted cautiously to the announcement that Dr Andrew West is to head the transition body that will become the Tertiary Education Commission.

Speaking in Christchurch today, AUS National President, Neville Blampied said, that "Dr West is clearly an eminent scientist and a science manager with wide experience. His writings indicate a lively interest in tertiary education issues. Unfortunately, he has little direct personal knowledge of the New Zealand university system."

"AUS welcomes indications that Dr West believes strongly that public investment in higher education and research needs to increase sharply. We disagree, however, with his suggestions that
New Zealand’s 8 universities be merged to 3 and the number of polytechnics be reduced to ‘well below 20’. [NZ Science Review, Vol. 57 (1-2) 2000]. Structural tinkering such as this is no substitute for sustained, strategic investment,” he said.

Neville Blampied added that “This appointment will have a significant impact on New Zealand’s ability to put into practice the proposals that have come out of the recent Knowledge Wave conference. Reversing the damage that the policies of the past 15 years have done to higher education in New Zealand must be the Tertiary Education Commission's foremost task. We will work actively with Dr West to ensure that New Zealand’s universities become adequately funded so that they can maintain their international standing and make their unique contribution to New Zealand culture, society and economy through their teaching, scholarship and research efforts.

While welcoming the additional appointment of Associate Professor Kaye Turner, Neville Blampied said that the Association was concerned that appointments were being made without consultation with the tertiary education sector, and without advertisement in accordance with the State Sector Act.


Contact numbers:


Neville Blampied, National President: 03-3642199 (w), 03-3327160 (h), 021-680475.
Rob Crozier, Executive Director: 04-9156691 (w), (04) 479 1667 (h), 021 375 661.


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