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Further cuts for tertiary education

24 May 2012

Further cuts for tertiary education

Despite record numbers of students in tertiary education this year the government has yet again cut funding.

Since this government came to office, student numbers have grown by 5,000 but government tertiary education funding has fallen by $500 million. Today’s Budget has cut funding even further.

TEU’s national president Dr Sandra Grey says tertiary education can, if well-funded, move people into new jobs to help New Zealand’s economy recover.

“Investing in the future rather than cutting corners is the only way for New Zealand to overcome the global financial crisis,” said Dr Grey. “We need to invest in learning and research to give New Zealand’s economy a chance to recover.”

“Investing strategically in public research and education is one of our best tools for helping New Zealand climb above global financial troubles,” said Dr Grey.

Overall tertiary education expenditure for 2012 is forecast to be $60 million less than 2011. Treasury forecasts that government funding will remain below 2009 levels right through until 2016.

The trade-offs this government chooses to make are hard to comprehend. Funding for adult and community education suffers further cuts, as does funding for funding for adult literacy and numeracy, but there are increased subsidies for private companies that want to make a profit from selling education. There is no overall investment in lifting quality of education to international students or to improve international competitiveness but money to spend on advertising for international students increases.

ENDS

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