Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey.
News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but it is the outcome of the financial pressure institutions find themselves under, says Lesley Francey.
Lesley Francey says that tertiary institutions are paid for enrolling and passing students rather than for the quality of the education they provide. Institutions are punished financially if they do not enrol enough students, and are punished financially if those students do not pass. The result is pressure to take students that might otherwise do better in a different course, and pressure them to pass those students.
“This fraud is one manifestation of a funding system that constantly pressures institutions to teach more students with less money. Other symptoms include mass redundancies, growing class sizes and course closures.”
“If these allegations are true, they are deplorable. The minister and his officials must catch the culprits and remove them from the system. Then he and his officials must take action to minimise the pressure on institutions to cheat. A good funding system should reward quality and collaboration, not cheating,” said Lesley Francey.
For more information:
- Lesley Francey, TEU National President, 021 855 732
- Stephen Day, TEU communications officer, 021 2900 734 or 04 801 4792