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Cheapest is not necessarily best

Cheapest is not necessarily best

Details of which institutions received funding to provide level 1 and 2 tertiary education courses next year show that the Tertiary Education Commission is favouring those providers that have promised to deliver the course for the cheapest, rather than those which proposed to offer high quality courses.

TEU national president Sandra Grey says that we should not assume because a course is cheaper, or delivered in bulk, that it is best for our students.

Last month the minister of tertiary education Steven Joyce announced that only six polytechnics out of eighteen and only one wananga would receive funding to tender funding to teach level 1-2 course next year, but 17 for profit private providers would get funding that had previously gone to publicly owned polytechnics.

Today, when the commission released more information about the successful tenders, it is clear that one of the deciding factors was the ability of an institution to teach its course more cheaply than its competitors.

"If this competitive funding model continues not only will we see more and more public eduction money in the hands of private for profit companies," says Sandra Grey, "but we will also see a downward spiral in quality as polytechnics and wananga respond to the expectations of the tertiary education quality and design courses that are cheap rather than high quality."

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