Tertiary Update Vol 20 No 1
Lincoln University has announced plans to withdraw from its Telford division, saying it may hand control of future training provision to Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.
The announcement comes in a statement published by management teams at Lincoln and Taratahi outlining how the transition will be negotiated. Both parties are committed to finalising the details of a transition by 1 April 2017.
One of the reasons Lincoln has given for withdrawing from Telford is cuts to funding for level 3 and 4 courses. TEU national president, Sandra Grey, said the announcement was a symptom of misguided government funding approaches that have destabilised quality public provision of courses at levels 1 to 4.
“Market-based rules are slowly chipping away at the provision of publicly owned tertiary education and have led to the Lincoln management deciding to withdraw from Telford and open negotiations with a private provider,” she said.
Under the terms agreed to in the statement, existing Telford staff will be offered jobs with Taratahi as part of any transition. Staff are currently covered by a collective agreement and the TEU is clear that this must stay in place under any new arrangement. One TEU member, Iain Winsdale, said staff were eager to participate in the discussions.
“My priority and that of my colleagues is to ensure we continue to provide the best possible training for our students. We welcome the commitment in the statement to consult with staff and look forward to sharing our expertise in training New Zealand’s future farmers as part of the decision making process.”
What is not clear from the statement is what happens if the talks between Lincoln and Taratahi are not successful. Grey said the TEU was committed to working for a successful outcome but added that, in the event the planned transition to Taratahi does not go ahead, the “government must commit to ensuring Telford continues to provide training for young people wanting to forge a future in one of our main industries – agriculture.”
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
- Proposed closure of former Mayor’s training centre
- WITT courses put on notice
- Global inequalities in access to tertiary education
- Former VC of Waikato University has published an opinion piece on the importance of maintaining academic freedom of universities – Bay of Plenty Times
- Diane Amundsen has been awarded the TEU Crozier Scholarship – Universities NZ
- The Tertiary Education Commission has launched a consultation on the Financial Monitoring Framework for tertiary education institutions – TEC
- Oxfam’s latest report on inequality lends support to a Living Wage for all working New Zealanders – Scoop
- Australian National Audit Office launches investigation into $1.84m federal government grant to the North East Vocational College, of which former Family First senator Bob Day was a director – The Guardian