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350 jobs to go at University of Canterbury

1 September 2011

350 jobs to go at University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury plans to cut more than 350 jobs over the next three years. According to an internal document forecasting the university's finances for the next ten years, it proposes to slash the current number of staff from 1947 to 1596 over the next three years. That is a decrease of 18 percent. The cuts will affect academic, general and technical staff.

The document lays the blame clearly with the government:
"The implicit message from the Tertiary Education Commission and the minister - that if the institution is willing to lead the way with cuts that could easily run to hundreds of jobs - the State may invest in the university once more - is reprehensible."

TEU national president Sandra Grey says the tertiary education minister, Steven Joyce, has not made a strong enough case to his cabinet colleagues to protect this important national and international asset.

"Cabinet plans to meet in Christchurch next Monday. It is essential that it act now to protect the university from these cuts," says Dr Grey. "The university is an essential public infrastructure. It has a key role to play in the next year helping the city rebuild. It cannot do that without government support."

The university says no additional funding has been made available by the commission or the minister other than retaining the Student Achievement Component for 2012. That means a shortfall of $12-18 million.

"Mr Joyce cannot sit by and let one of New Zealand's most prestigious learning institutions bleed nearly a fifth of its staff," said Dr Grey.


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