What future for equity funding?

Posted By TEU on Feb 25, 2010 |

Tertiary Update, Vol 13 No 6

Tertiary Education Union national president Dr Tom Ryan is concerned that equity funding which the Tertiary Education Commission currently provides to institutions with Māori, Pasifika and disabled students may not be renewed, or may be phased out in this year’s budget.

The funding, which was introduced 10 years ago, provides institutions with $133 for each Māori or Pasifika EFTS studying towards a diploma, $320 for a degree, and $444 for a postgraduate qualification. It also provides $28 for each student EFTS with a disability.

The Tertiary Education Commission states that equity funding helps tertiary education institutions to improve equity of access and achievement for Māori students, Pasifika students, and students with disabilities. Its purpose is to provide additional support for TEIs to improve participation, retention, completion, and progression.

The money currently is used in a range of ways by the various institutions. For instance, the University of Auckland’s” Tūakana Programme links tuākana (senior Māori students) with teina (new students), providing targeted assistance, mentoring and support to the teina. The university notes that, overall, participants in the Tuākana Programme havesignificantly higher retention and pass rates than those who do not participate.

The government’s 2009 tertiary education budget promised that additional savings could be made by reducing or cutting small items. Some were introduced last year and others will come on stream this year and in 2011.

“The current round of equity funding expires this year,” said Dr Ryan. “People working in tertiary education are looking for some assurance that, given its importance and success to date, it will continue.”

“The government recently has been expressing concerns over retention and success rates in tertiary education. Hopefully the Minister will decide that the equity fund has proved its worth and so should be continued .”

Also in” Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Hei Tauira tells Māori success stories
  2. Students rally to defence of their associations
  3. General staff at U Auckland seek fair pay
  4. UK wants more two-year degrees
  5. Fees don’t buy quality

Other news

The University of Waikato library has listed” Pei Te Hurinui Jones’ book collection on Legacy Libraries, an online index system that records the personal libraries of eminent historical figures. Pei Te Hurinui Jones, of Ngāti Maniapoto, was a leading Māori scholar and translator in the mid-20th century.

There is evidence that” increases in tertiary education have contributed to productivity growth – The Ministry of Education.

Private college numbers in Australia have surged by 20 percent in the past year, defying the federal government crackdown and prompting a warning the sector is still expanding too fast for regulators to cope. -” The Australian

Labour market outcomes two months after people finish” training opportunities placements are highly influenced by external factors such as the strength of local and regional labour markets, and the prior employment experience of learners, as well as whatever training occurs in the programme – The Ministry of Education

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard is warning opposition leader Tony Abbott that middle-income families from the bush on $80,000 with two university-age children will be $24,000 worse off if he continues to block her student income bill -” The Australian

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:” http://scr.im/stephenday

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