The power of publicly funded tertiary education to change lives and transform communities is confirmed today by a collection of personal stories told by those who know just how important public tertiary education is to them, their whānau, their employers and hapori whānui.
Talking Tertiary Education is a collection of nearly one hundred stories selected by the Tertiary Education Union to show the transformative power of public education. The collection starts a talanoa, a conversation, about the benefits of public tertiary education where people’s stories do the talking. Each story reinforces that tertiary education belongs to all of us, because it benefits all of us.
Personal, persuasive and powerful, the stories aim to expand politicians’ understanding of what it means to have a publicly-funded, locally accessible tertiary education system that is focused on learning, not profit. They tell how public tertiary education helps to reduce inequity and contributes to lifelong learning opportunities that allow us to fulfil our potential as individuals and as members of whānau and communities.
The collection has been published to coincide with the Education Select Committee’s final hearing on National’s plans to change the law to give Ministers greater powers to divert public funds away from public tertiary education providers and hand them to private companies instead.
Sandra Grey, national president of the Tertiary Education Union, said: “Each of these stories is a powerful reminder of why it is so important to keep tertiary education public, local and focused on learning. Whether told by a young person figuring out their path, someone changing careers later in life, learning new skills or finding their passion, what is clear from these stories is that it’s public tertiary education that supports them on their way.
“The collection of stories recognises the huge difference public, locally focussed tertiary education makes to people’s lives. It’s a talanoa with one-hundred compelling reasons why National’s law to divert funding away from public universities, polytechnics and wānanga must not be passed. MPs should read each story carefully to remind themselves why they should be supporting high quality public tertiary education for the range of social, political, and economic benefits it brings the people of Aotearoa.”