Minister says be selective about students

Posted By TEU on Oct 15, 2009 |

Tertiary Update volume 12 number 35

TVNZ has drawn attention to significant underfunding in the tertiary education sector, questioning whether it can continue to perform as funding cuts start to take effect. Chief Executive of WITT (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) Richard Handley told the station that the combination of funding cuts, the EFTS cap and increases to student numbers meant WITT had to turn away more than 300 students this semester.

“That’s a very disappointing result when our primary responsibility is to developing those skills within our communities,” said Mr Handley.

However Education Minister Anne Tolley has responded saying tertiary educators need to be more selective with students.

“It doesn’t do anyone any good to put them into courses that are not right for them, that they’re not going to finish, that are not going to give them that step forward that they need when they’ve accumulated a loan,” said Mrs Tolley.

This appears to stand in contrast with her recently released Tertiary Education Strategy which sets out her government’s goals for the sector including increasing the number of young people achieving qualifications at level four and above, and increasing the number of young people moving successfully from school into tertiary education.

The minister says every organisation funded by the government is feeling pressure from the recession.

“We’ve got a new government, we have new priorities, and we are putting some pressure on the sector to perform.”

Meanwhile TEU women’s vice president Sandra Grey told TVNZ that tertiary education staff cannot continue to work effectively under this increasing workload pressure.

“We have staff who are leaving because of workloads, who just feel that the tertiary sector has had such cuts that they can’t maintain the quality they’d like and they can’t physically maintain the workload that is being required of them,” stated Ms Grey.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Hawke’s Bay to lose teaching course?
  2. NZ gets mixed report at ILO-UNESCO Committee
  3. University of Otago bans alcohol sponsorship
  4. Beneficiaries may not be able to Aspire
  5. Canterbury’s $100m bonus bonds
  6. Taiwanese varsities could run out of students
  7. General staff intellectual property rights

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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