Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


NZ Must Emulate Aus Funding Boost For Universities

Media Release 13 May 2009

NZ Must Emulate Australian Funding Boost For Universities

The Australian budget has delivered that country’s universities A$5.3 billion of investment in teaching, research and innovation over six years and New Zealand university heads say that investment principle must now be followed here.

Delivered last night, the Australian budget commits A$2.6 billion from an investment fund for priority infrastructure projects in universities and research agencies. Professor Roger Field who chairs the New Zealand universities’ representative body – the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee – says that treating universities as an essential part of national infrastructure is the correct approach during a global recession.

“As the Australian Treasurer said in his budget speech, that country’s recovery depends heavily on the quality of their human capital and their ability to educate their people and innovate in business. Exactly the same applies here and it will be a serious mistake if the New Zealand Budget later this month doesn’t include a similar increase in investment in our universities.

“The Australian university investment package includes A$934 million for teaching and learning projects and A$491 million over four years to uncap the number of university places from 2012, starting with increased places from next year. University places in New Zealand remain capped and increased enrolment as a result of the recession is likely to see our universities carrying significant numbers of unfunded students next year.”

While Professor Field acknowledges the difference between the two countries in terms of economic size, he points out that Australia and New Zealand are facing very similar economic pressures.

“It is the Australian government’s investment approach that really marks the difference between the two countries’ attitudes to their university systems. As Universities Australia said in its budget comment, funding university teaching and research is part of a formula for a sustainable outcome for the economy.

“Another feature of Australia’s budget treatment of universities is the move to further improve inflation adjustment to university funding from 2012 – the equivalent measure here has been less than the actual rate of inflation in recent years and far short of the annual cost increases universities actually face.”

Professor Field says if the New Zealand Budget fails to deliver adequate compensation to universities for increased student numbers and the effects of inflation, the university system will come under serious pressure in it efforts to maintain quality, assets and student services.

“Our message is simple – New Zealand universities need investment now to ensure the country has the necessary human capital going forward and to protect the New Zealand university system’s international reputation.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland