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


Universities reject Minister’s criticism of performance

3 September 2012

Universities reject Minister’s criticism of their performance

Recent comments by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills & Employment Steven Joyce that university councils are impeding the performance of universities are being disputed by Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors.

Following the recent release of a Business Growth Agenda Progress report, Building Innovation, Minister Joyce commented that “university councils were too large, at around 20 members, and were often slow to react to changing circumstances, not pursuing commercialisation of research as effectively as possible, and were lagging in their international education initiatives”.

Roger France, Chair of the Chancellors’ Committee refutes those comments, saying New Zealand’s university system is the most efficient in the world, as measured by the rankings of the institutions relative to their income or expenditure per student.

“Contrary to the Minister’s claims that we are lagging in international education, New Zealand universities have the fifth highest proportion of international students in the OECD.”

Universities New Zealand Chair Professor Pat Walsh adds that our universities are doing great work and there is plenty to be proud of. “Rather than being slow to respond to change, we have expanded capacity three-fold over the past 30 years and diversified our programmes significantly.”

“In addition, the research being undertaken in New Zealand universities is world-leading and our researchers are highly effective in delivering outputs from research and commercialising research. This is demonstrated by the fact that our universities rate alongside or ahead of prestigious universities such as MIT and Stanford in their ratio of contract research to total research income and in their patent productivity.”

“There is in any event no evidence that council size has a negative effect on university performance,” Mr France says. “New Zealand university councils have an average of 18 members and many of the world’s leading universities, such as Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford, have governing bodies as large, or larger, than this.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

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: 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>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland