Today’s budget will cut funding to public tertiary education, handing millions of dollars of public funds to the private sector. Commenting on the announcement, Tertiary Education Union National Secretary, Sharn Riggs, said:
“Today Steven Joyce announced that National would cut more than $15.5 million in funding to our public universities and polytechnics, while increasing funding to private providers by almost $24 million.
“This is a budget of ideological choice, not of necessity. Public tertiary education institutions are responsible for some of the most creative and innovative teaching in the country. On the other hand, recent stories show a litany of private providers trying to rort the system and closing when they get caught. The government’s decision to ignore such evidence is the result of an ideological preference for for-profit tertiary providers.
“Paul Goldsmith will tell us that he is increasing funding to the sector by 1 percent, but this belies the fact that most of that increase is being handed to private business. While public funds are pumped into failing, profit-driven providers, other public institutions remain under-funded, and face even further cutbacks if a planned law
change goes ahead.
“This law will further open New Zealand’s tertiary education sector to private providers and National is acting as if it has already passed. Let’s reject this approach and instead work for a public education system that suits the needs of the students it serves and the staff who deliver it.”