In the 2012 Budget the government took one-third of the money it normally uses to fund foundation level tertiary education (level 1 and 2 courses) and put it up for tender – $38 million out of $115 million.
At the time TEU warned that this could have two perverse consequences:
- Public money would move away from public providers, such as our polytechnics with their long-standing record of high quality regional education, towards private for-profit companies.
- Public providers, like our polytechnics, would respond to the competitive funding model by acting like private businesses. They would be forced to cut courses, offer the cheapest possible courses so that they could win the tender, and focus less on giving student and communities’ life-long learning paths and more on passing students through short one-year courses.
Before knowing the outcome of this experiment the Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce is already talking about expanding it so all Level 1-2 funding becomes competitively tendered.
When the minister announced the results of the tender process, two-thirds of our polytechnics had missed out on funding, as had other large public foundation studies providers like Lincoln University.
The Tertiary Education Commission - the body that handled the tender process - admitted in its own documentation that it granted funding on the basis of ‘value for money’ rather than quality of education.
And once the minister and the commission announced the successful tenders, the unsuccessful polytechnics immediately began to plan how they would get by without the money they needed to teach level 1 and 2 students. Unsurprisingly, their response was to start closing courses and restructuring and cutting jobs.
TEU is campaigning against this competitive funding model because we believe it is an ideological experiment in privatisation that will fail. Public money should continue to go to local public institutions that belong to and are committed to their communities in the long-term. If you can help us with this campaign contact us here.
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Messages of Support:
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To download any of the resources, once you have clicked on the link and opened up the box to view it you need to click on the icon beside the resource that looks like this: That will start your download.
Contact Stephen Day for a copy of meeting speech-notes if you would like them and/or for a more detailed fact sheet.
The resources above are for photocopying. If you want print quality versions you can also contact Stephen Day.
Images for you to use
TEU commentary on the Level 1-2 funding debacle:
- Weltec foundation cuts hit refugees (Tertiary Update, 13 December 2012)
- Our polytechnics are under threat (The Standard, 5 December 2012)
- Funding experiment leads to education providers with no teaching materials (media release, 30 November 2012)
- Foundation studies campaign saves jobs at UCOL (Tertiary Update, 29 November 2012)
- Protests planned tomorrow over foundation studies cut (Tertiary Update and media release, 21 November 2012)
- Government funding cuts strips tutors from Manukau (media release, 15 November 2012)
- Foundation studies cuts continue around the country (Tertiary Update, 15 November 2012)
- Recommendations to TEU annual conference 2012 (Conference resolutions, 13 November 2012)
- Napier and Gisborne suffer polytechnic cuts (Media release, 7 November 2012)
- Manawatu-Whanganui reeling from foundation studies cuts (Tertiary Update, 1 November 2012)
- UCOL announces large cuts in wake of funding cuts (media release and Tertiary Update, 25 October 2012)
- Many other polytechnics also affected by foundation education cuts (Tertiary Update, 25 October 2012)
- Govt funding cuts to blame for losing learning opportunities (media release, 24 October 2012)
- Polytechnics lose in L1-2 funding scramble (Tertiary Update, 18 October 2012)
- Cheapest is not necessarily best (media release, 16 October 2012)
- Privatising level 1-2 students’ education an unnecessary gamble (Tertiary Update, 19 July 2012)
- Tertiary education’s sub-zero budget (Tertiary Update, 31 May 2012)
- When the government steers the market: implications for the New Zealand’s tertiary education system (Presentation to NTEU conference, 22-23 February 2012)
- Joyce wants level playing field for funding PTEs (Tertiary Update, 1 July 2010)
- Outcome of competitive process for levels 1 and 2 announced
- 2013 and 2014 SAC Levels 1 and 2 competitive process
- Successful providers through the SAC Levels 1 and 2 Competitive process
- $38m for dedicated fees-free foundation level learning (26 September 2012)
- Govt to strengthen foundation-level learning (28 June 2012)
- $29.5m to stimulate competitive innovation in tertiary sector (24 May 2012)