The appointment of a new minister of tertiary education confirms that tertiary education is too big a job for a minister who already carries other significant portfolios, said TEU national president Dr Tom Ryan.
“We welcome Mr Joyce to his new role as minister of tertiary education, and hope that he sees it as his most substantial portfolio. Tertiary education has a crucial role to play in enriching our economy and our society. The government’s goals to increase productivity and opportunities for young New Zealanders are linked to how well our tertiary education system performs.”
Mr Joyce faces challenging times as he picks up this portfolio – not the least being the prospect of continuing industrial action in parts of the polytechnic sector as students return. The most significant tasks Mr Joyce will face as minister include supporting a sector that suffered significant funding cuts last year, finding a way to let into study young New Zealanders who would not otherwise normally get a chance at tertiary education, and helping our polytechnics in their efforts to support regional economies and communities.
“Tertiary education needs a minister who can champion the end of funding cuts, who will invest in opportunities and access for new students, and who will drive innovative blue skies research. We wish Mr Joyce luck with this task,” concluded Dr Ryan.