Indigenous Peoples Day focuses attention on Māori impact of National’s tertiary Bill

Posted By TEU on Aug 10, 2017 |

Yesterday’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples provided an important opportunity to reflect on the impact National’s tertiary education Bill would have on Māori.

Observed on 9 August every year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population, the day is a reminder that education must be accessible, publicly funded and available for all without discrimination.

The right of indigenous peoples to education is protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Article 14 of the Declaration states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.”

Under National’s tertiary education Bill Ministers would have greater powers to divert public funds away from public tertiary education providers and hand them to for-profit companies instead.

There are widespread fears this would make public tertiary education vulnerable to short-term market trends, rather than being contingent on what communities need now and want for the future.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will celebrate its 10 year anniversary shortly before September’s General Election, providing a further opportunity to reflect on whether National’s market-based approach to tertiary education has delivered for tangata whenua.

Speaking to MPs on the Education Select Committee last week, Steven Wharehinga, a lecturer at the Universal College of Learning and TEU member, said that, if passed, the law would be “another nail in the coffin of regional tertiary education and who will that affect the most, Māori.”

“The consequences of allowing the market a much greater say in what courses should be provided locally, rather than the communities themselves, would be felt most in the regions, particularly by Māori and Pasifika, and low income families,” Wharehinga told MPs.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Two options presented for future of West Coast tertiary education
  2. Show your support for equal pay
  3. Change can happen when young people vote
  4. Accreditation withdrawn from yet another for-profit provider
  5. Congratulations to teaching award winners

Other news

Immigration New Zealand believes Indian business owners are deliberately targeting Indian foreign students as cheap labour and charging them thousands of dollars for jobs that lead to residence – RNZ

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has aligned the curriculum for Māori-medium schools, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, with the University Entrance approved subjects list – NZQA

Te Tauihu o nga Wānanga chairwoman Mereana Selby said opposition to allowing wānanga to be recognised as an indigenous university was outrageous and unfair – RNZ

Wellington Regional Council is proposing an all-day 25 percent discount public transport fare for full-time students – RNZ

The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has launched a new Bachelor of Career Development – NMIT

The Ara Institute of Canterbury is opening its Kahukura Engineering and Architectural Studies facility today – MSC Newswire

Medical students are campaigning to end the eight-year borrowing limit on student loans – RNZ

Victoria University has announced that is it is selling its Karori campus land and buildings in Wellington on the open market – Stuff

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