8 February 2019
In Aotearoa New Zealand, everyone should have the opportunity to attend some form of tertiary education, and to have a positive experience along the way. Our Institutes of Technology & Polytechnics (formally known as ITP’s) teach over 170,000 of our tertiary students per year and are tasked with providing mainly vocational education to our regions and cities
It is forecasted that over half of New Zealand’s 16 ITP’s are to be financially unsustainable by 2020. Many ITP’s around the country are in crisis mode, slashing courses and staff, and requiring significant structural changes to continue to be viable under the current funding system. Student voice is also meagre compared to Universities.
‘The system as it currently stands is not delivering for our people and communities, and is increasingly roadblocking student opportunity. The ITP Roadmap is the most significant opportunity for change that the sector has seen in the past twenty years, and it could not be more urgent’, says James Ranstead, President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).
NZUSA welcomes the Tertiary Education Union’s report ‘Changing Lives’ released yesterday, which makes clear that these reforms must guarantee a significant increase in funding for the sector, and an end to the broken competitive system put in place under the last Government.
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations also strongly advocates for the three following points –
That student voice is placed at the heart of institutional functioning and is improved from the current minimal and unequal state of affairs across the sector.
That provision within our regions and urban centres ensures communities have local access to courses.
That the sector fosters the Tiriti relationship expressed in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and caters for our diverse communities with diverse learning needs from Māori, Pasifika and global backgrounds.
With these recommendations put in place, Aotearoa New Zealand can be sure to have a sustainable ITP sector that is working towards equity of educational opportunity, and truly functioning as ‘society’s great leveller’.