Thanks to Alan Levine at Flickr for the photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/1379826

Government funding cuts strips tutors from Manukau

Tertiary Update Vol 15 No 40

The Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is looking to cut courses and staff in its English, foundation studies, business services, horticulture, automotive and trades schools.  The cuts follow a decision by the Tertiary Education Commission several weeks ago to cut the polytechnic’s funding for 400 full-time students.

The course closures are the result of a decision by the government earlier this year to put one-third of its foundation level student achievement funding up for tender – $38 million out of $115 million. When the minister announced the results of that tender process two-thirds of polytechnics missed out on funding needed to run foundation courses, including MIT.

The polytechnic also plans to cut carpentry staff after losing industry training work. Together the reviews propose a staffing loss of the equivalent of 25 full-time teachers.

Sandra Grey, TEU national president, says the loss of funding is a huge blow to education in South Auckland.

“This is on top of institution-wide reviews which shed over 50 staff at the end of last year.”

“The government is sacrificing well-established and resourced programmes in its hunt for cheap delivery.”

TEU understands funding for level 1 and 2 horticulture has gone to the Apostolic Church. Another private training company that won funding to deliver level 1 and 2 automotive programmes is now approaching institutions such as MIT in search of programmes and facilities to run the courses for which it tendered.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Waikato scholar wins academic freedom award
  2. Foundation studies cuts continue around the country
  3.  TEU signs up for two more years of campaigning
  4. Queensland tries to improve vocational education by attacking tutors

Other news

TEU has opened nominations for its three vice president positions – Industrial and professional vice-president, women’s vice-president and te tumu arataki/Māori vice-president – as well as unfilled positions on council, the national industrial and professional committee and the national women’s committee. Potential candidates can get nomination forms from their local branch president or, shortly, from the TEU website.  It also plans to rerun elections it held last fortnight after finding some voters were blocked from receiving email ballot papers. The new elections will start this week.

Photos of TEU members at a picket yesterday at the Open Polytechnic.

Education International is asking all education workers around the world to support a campaign for the release of the imprisoned Bahraini teachers Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi Abu Dheeb. Jalila and Mahdi were condemned in September 2011 by a military court after being forced to sign ‘confessions’ while in detention. Mahdi and Jalila’s only ‘crime’ was to have the temerity to promote respect for the values of solidarity, equality and democracy by supporting calls for reform in Bahrain – LabourStart and Education International

Minister for tertiary education Steven Joyce told the Timaru Herald a polytechnic like Aoraki was vital for a region like South Canterbury which did not have a university. It was key that it trained students to meet the needs of employers. “The biggest focus needs to be on what they [Aoraki] are doing for the region, including Ashburton and Oamaru. I am less excited about what they are doing in Christchurch and Dunedin.” – Timaru Herald

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