Student achievement grants cut for 8 polytechnics

Posted By TEU on Feb 10, 2011 |


Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 3

Polytechnics and one wānanga were big losers in this year’s Government’s Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding for the tertiary education sector.

Figures released last year from the Tertiary Education Commission show that eight polytechnics will receive less SAC money this year than last. The figures reveal that Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, UCOL, NMIT, Northtec, SIT, WITT, Waiāriki and Te Tai Poutini all receive funding cuts this year. Te Wānanga o Raukawa also lost a million dollars of funding this year.

Universities on the whole did better, with a $56 million, or 5 percent increase in SAC funding – although $10 million of that relates to funding that last year went to Telford Rural Polytechnic and this year is moved into Lincoln University’s budget due to a merger of the two institutions.

Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) were the hardest hit by the commission’s funding announcement with 31 of 37 receiving funding cuts. Overall ITOs lost $28 million of funding.

The polytechnics and wānanga that are the worst hit by funding cuts are all outside the major urban cities.  Waiāriki Institute of Technology, for instance, faces a 6 percent reduction in its SAC grant this year.  That is $1.5 million, or over $400 for every equivalent full time student.

Overall, the total funding increase to the SAC grant (2 percent) does not quite match the 2.2 percent price increase that the commission says is included in its calculations – in other words there is an overall funding cut for the institutions, which is particularly given the significant roll growth that tertiary institutions are experiencing.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. PM claims better results for less money
  2. Will new trade agreement let foreign universities sue NZ?
  3. Education International’s first global women’s conference
  4. Early childhood cuts won’t heal

Other news

Professor Harlene Hayne has been appointed as the new vice-chancellor of the University of Otago and becomes the second woman vice-chancellor of a New Zealand university, following Judith Kinnear who left Massey in 2009. TEU’s Otago university branch welcomed Dr Hayne and looks forward to working constructively with her.

The number of Equivalent Full Time Students aged 18 – 25 years engaged in formal tertiary study increased by 15,648 (13.5%) between 2008 and 2010 – TVNZ

The Labour Party has announced a new Tertiary Education spokesperson, Darren Hughes, will replace Grant Robertson. Mr Hughes takes on the entire Education portfolio including tertiary and compulsory education – Labour Party

“I take issue with an underlying assumption in the report that academics and institutions aren’t very good at career planning. Academics work with their institutions to set out clear career plans – the problem is the rules of progression and attainment for academics are being set by managerial approaches to tertiary education, which have been in continual flux for more than two decades” – Sandra Grey

Dame Margaret Clark, who has worked at Victoria University for more than three decades, says it is not the lifestyle choice it used to be. “I think the future is a lot tougher than my past was. I think that universities were much more gentlemanly, much more relaxed, much less judgemental,” she said. The pressure has also increased in her department, where student teacher ratios are 1:47, when they should be 1:15 – TVNZ

The Government is cutting support for teaching in higher education by 80 per cent, and forcing universities to charge up to £9,000 per year. With the median wage in the UK at £22,000, the majority of the UK population will be unable to pay some of the highest fees in the world –Open letter from academics in the Time Educational Supplement

The Dutch coalition government has announced cuts of up to EUR500 million (US$681 million) a year for higher education, penalties for students and universities if they fail to complete their degree after four years, and the abolition of grants for masters students. University rectors and the mayors of university cities warned that the cuts would “push the Netherlands out of the world’s top 10 knowledge economies” – University World News

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.

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