Review tertiary system before enshrining failed approach in law, TEU says

Posted By TEU on May 11, 2017 |

National is being reckless trying to pass a new tertiary education law without first evaluating what impact its reforms have had on teaching and learning, stories from more than 500 staff suggest.

The TEU is calling for a sector-wide review of the changes National has made to tertiary education before it enshrines its failed experiment in law.

The call came as the TEU published a ‘stress dossier’ of more than 500 anonymous stories that include incidents where staff have been put under pressure to change students’ marks and alter assessments, shining a light on what it’s like to work in a tertiary education sector run by National.

“The very least the public should expect from National is a thorough review of the tertiary education reforms it has introduced before they go ahead and change the law to entrench an approach this dossier suggests has failed,” Sandra Grey, national president of the TEU, said.

Copies of the dossier were presented to the tertiary education spokespeople for Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First, as well as staff in the Minister’s office, ahead of the first reading of a controversial law that will see funding being stripped away from public education and handed to private businesses.

“We all need to get around the table – staff, students, policymakers and institutions – to have an honest discussion about what tertiary education means for New Zealand and whether the current approach is working. At the moment Paul Goldsmith is steering the ship blindfolded,” Grey added.

Backing the TEU’s call for a review, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations president, Jonathan Gee, said:

“If the system continues in its current direction, we pose the risk of turning tertiary institutions into degree factories rather than places where students genuinely learn, grow and succeed.”

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