Tertiary Students Get 37 Cents A Day
"The Government's offer of a 2.6% increase to tertiary institutions doesn't even keep pace with inflation and equates to only 37 cents per student per day," National's Tertiary Education spokesperson Maurice Williamson said today.
"It is particularly galling given Labour was elected on a promise to make students better off. The Government can't keep its promise so it's planning to blame universities for breaking it.
"The 2.6% funding offer is no more than blackmail: take the money and reduce standards or turn it down and lose last year's 2.3% increase as well.
"The Government is misleading the public over 'Centres of Research Excellence' funding. This fund actually reallocates existing money. This Government is trying to give the impression that universities would be a lot better off under this fund. In fact, it's just blackmailing universities to accept the fee freeze offer with money they already have.
"Financial pressure is building on our tertiary institutions. Last year's fee freeze deal cost tertiary institutions $17.1 million. This year's deal will force cutbacks or debt of $70 million on the financially strapped institutions.
"Today's protest at Canterbury University demonstrates the predicament our tertiary institutions are in. The issue is simple. Either Government funding goes up or student fees go up," Mr Williamson said.