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Hipkins' Experience Needed To Harness Tertiary Sector Success

TEU welcomes the re-appointment of Hon Chris Hipkins as the Minister of Education. TEU members have high hopes that the experience and expertise the Minister brings to the sector will translate into decisive action and equitable outcomes.

Both the Reform of Vocational Education and the ongoing funding stalemate in universities are at a critical stage. The tertiary education sector needs considerable investment and innovative direction to ensure an economically sustainable and equitable sector for all.

The Labour Government has promised a targeted approach to additional spending on tertiary education, with a focus on areas that are deemed critical for the country's economic recovery from COVID-19, including free apprenticeships and spending on targeted areas of vocational training, and the completion of the reform of the vocational education system.

While TEU applauds spending on tertiary education in building-back from Covid-19, the focus on vocational education and training does not go far enough to build back better for all New Zealanders, or in protecting the sector both in the short-term and for future generations.

Hipkins’ appointment is a chance for all tertiary education leaders to work together to create and invest in the kind of sector that values and supports teaching and learning experiences. Aotearoa’s future success is inherently connected to the recovery of the tertiary sector that looks set for exponential growth in 2021.

TEU Tumu Whakarae | National President Michael Gilchrist goes further stating, “the shortfall in funding for domestic students in comparison to international students must be addressed. We will be asking the Minister to give his urgent attention to this issue”

TEU also looks forward to working with Associate Ministers Jan Tinetti, Hon Kelvin Davis (Māori Education) and Hon Aupito William Sio (Pacific Peoples).

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