Minister considers Canterbury merger

Posted By TEU on Aug 20, 2015 |


Tertiary Update Vol 18 No 28

Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce opened public consultation this week on the proposed merger of Aoraki Polytechnic and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT).

The two polytechnics are proposing to create a new organisation based on the legal entity of CPIT, and integrating Aoraki Polytechnic into it.

Joyce is conducting a public consultation until 14 September, after which he will make a decision on the proposal.

“I want to ensure this proposal would meet the needs of learners, business, the wider Canterbury region, and support the ongoing delivery of a high-performing tertiary education system,” says Mr Joyce.

The two polytechnics say that the merger will focus on the Canterbury region and will give a wider range of programmes and improved access to vocational education. It would also create financial stability.

TEU is preparing a submission to the minister. The union says Joyce has a legal responsibility to ensure the merger is in the interests of the nation as a whole, but he also has a moral responsibility to ensure it is in the interests of Canterbury’s many local communities.

TEU vice-president Phil Edwards says the business case for a merger that the two polytechnics provided to the minister makes little mention of staff, except as a resource to be managed.

“We want the merger proposal to state clearly that staff are able to contribute to the vision of accessible tertiary education in Canterbury.”

Edwards says the current document focuses too much on accountability and reporting, and not enough on investing in high-quality staff and working conditions that enhance education.

TEU is surveying members at Aoraki and CPIT over the next 10 days while it drafts its submission.

“Staff at CPIT and Aoraki already offer incredibly good education to their many students,” says Edwards. “The focus of our submission will be protecting and enhancing education opportunities for all students in the Canterbury and North Otago regions.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Long-term costs to Unitec’s short-term cuts
  2. Student loans not enough to cover rent
  3. Parliament debates watered down health and safety law
  4. Zero-hours legislation puts out fire with petrol
  5. Youths not guaranteed results

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Otago Polytechnic is making a mistake by planning cuts to its building school as a construction boom is projected to begin, the Tertiary Education Union says – Otago Daily Times

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