People working at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology are astonished that their institutions will merge despite overwhelming opposition.
Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce announced today that the two polytechnics will merge on 1 May 2016.
His support for the merger stands in contrast to the 70 percent of submitters who disagreed or strongly disagreed with the merger proceeding.
TEU national president Sandra Grey says, given the weak business case for the merger and the dearth of support from both local communities, the decision to proceed is a surprising one.
“We will be watching closely what happens next because people working and studying at both current polytechnics are predominantly happy with their institutions as they are.
“So we are concerned that this major upheaval doesn’t harm two well-functioning and highly regarded local polytechnics.”
Grey says the minister does not have a strong record of responding to public feedback and this latest decision continues that tradition.
“While we do not expect the minister always to go with the majority view, he does have a democratic and ministerial duty to take people’s views and concerns into account. People in the Bay of Plenty will not feel as if he heard them today.”
NZUSA president Rory McCourt says the business case for the merger relies on a magic $1 million reduction in redundancy costs, and 140 extra international students, among other fudging.
“The revised proposal expects an extra 340 international students will join them. Where will they live, where will they work? How will the new institution attract and retain them?” he asks.
Thanks to Abaconda Management Group at Flickr for the photo – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tauranga_train_bridge.jpg#/media/File:Tauranga_train_bridge.jpg