PM diagnoses tertiary education with economic woes

Posted By TEU on Feb 4, 2010 |


Tertiary Update – Volume 13 Number 3

The prime minister John Key told” TV3’s Sunrise this week that he has given Steven Joyce the tertiary education portfolio to sort out the sector’s economic issues.

“If you look at the tertiary sector a lot of the challenges that lie before that sector are quite economic in nature”, stated the prime minister.

“There are some polytechnics which are struggling financially. There are issues around basically how the student loan policy works. There could be improvements in that policy, for instance. There’re a lot of economic issues in there and from our perspective Steven Joyce is well placed to take on those issues.”

When later challenged by NZUSA co-president David Do on what ‘improvements’ to the student loan scheme might mean, the Prime Minister confirmed that the government is not going to change interest-free student loans, telling the” New Zealand Herald:

“At the margins, at the boundaries, there are specific issues where, as I understand it, the universities and the student associations have been having some discussions,” Mr Key said. “But zero percent loans remain.”

Mr Joyce has not made any public statement yet on his views regarding the economic situation of New Zealand’s tertiary education system generally, or how best to address the problem of financially struggling polytechnics.

Also in” Tertiary Update this week:

  1. University of Otago to merge schools to save money
  2. Tax reforms unlikely to address funding or inequality
  3. Tertiary education won’t make you rich – in New Zealand
  4. Ministry unlikely to reach Pasifika tertiary education target

Other news

  • In the UK, the government’s decision to” withdraw the 10,000 extra places offered last year will see overall recruitment drop for 2010-11, despite an increase in applicants -” Times Higher Education Supplement
  • A New Zealand teenager has auctioned off her virginity to a stranger for over $45,000 to” fund her university tuition fees -” Stuff
  • Education International General Secretary Fred Van Leeuwen warned government and business leaders that” public spending cuts will slow down economic recovery and, worse, will be like a slap in the face to the millions of people who have lost their jobs and for whom education and training is their return ticket to the labour market -” Education International
  • In the USA, as President Obama unveiled his administration’s fiscal 2011 budget with lots of talk about reining in discretionary spending, he largely” exempted programs important to higher education from the budget restraint he urged -Inside Higher Ed
  • In Australia, education minister Julia Gillard talked up the government’s $5 billion,four-year package of reforms for universities. She noted the government would be investing almost AU$46bn in university teaching and research in the four years to 2011-12 -” The Australian
  • British authorities have found that the former registrar of the University of Surrey and of the University of Bath offered African women fake degrees if they would let him spank them. He claimed that he was seeking their assistance with a “pain management” study -” The Times of London
  • The latest round of the Labour Cost Index is out and it shows that the nation’s 400,000 union members are the workers holding their ground as businesses try to cut wage costs to preserve their profit margins -” The Standard

TEU” Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to” Tertiary Update by” email or” feed reader. Back issues are available on the” TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:” http://scr.im/stephenday

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