WITT prepares drastic measures for 2011

Posted By TEU on Feb 11, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 4

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) has released a consultation document to its staff called ‘Towards a Sustainable Future – Meeting the Challenges of 2011 and Retaining WITT’s Independence and Autonomy‘. It identifies a significant reduction in revenue that will occur in 2011 as a result of changes to government funding. The document seeks feedback on its proposals by 5 March, with final decisions to be advised to staff on 22 March.

The report notes that funding to New Zealand’s twenty ITPs is scheduled to drop by over $44 million, or seven percent, next year. Funding specifically for WITT is scheduled to fall by $2.17 million, or 13 percent of WITT’s previously planned funding for 2011.

This reduction includes the elimination of a $1.3 million grant to recognise and compensate for WITT’s small scale. From 2011 all ITPs will be paid the same rate, regardless of size. The report also notes that more than $800,000 of funding for ‘student performance’ from the Tertiary Education Commission is now at risk.

WITT’s proposal to address this reduction in government funding is to grow as much as it can within its EFTS cap, identify alternative revenue streams (such as more overseas students), to increase fees, and reduce costs, including staffing costs.

It proposes to save $615,000 in direct staffing costs next year. Also WITT plans to make savings by reducing its health and safety payments to third party suppliers, reducing its contingency budget and reducing its training costs.

TEU national President Dr Tom Ryan says the government needs to own up to the damage it is doing to New Zealand polytechnics.

“WITT’s ‘Sustainable Future’ proposal is anything but that. It is a desperate attempt by a small, regional polytechnic to stay afloat in the face of an increasingly hostile government. And the whole situation reflects particularly badly on a government that claims to be the defender of the interests of rural constituencies,” said Dr Ryan.

Also in” Tertiary Update this week:

  1. PM calls tertiary education problems ”increasingly urgent”
  2. Scientists say research funding is worse than a lottery
  3. Govt focused on trades training for teenagers
  4. Otago polytechnic CEO wants subcommittee for staff and students
  5. Massey negotiations conclude with 1.5 percent proposal

Other news

Universities across Britain are preparing to” axe thousands of teaching jobs, close campuses, and ditch courses in order to cope with government funding cuts. Other plans include using post-graduates rather than professors for teaching, and the delay of major building projects -” The Guardian

At Massey University,” overall enrolments are up 20 per cent and international students have jumped 24 per cent compared with this time last year -” The Manawatu Standard

What if universities were to operate on a” piece-rate compensation basis, like the current US health system? They then would be an essentially unworkable and unaffordable pastiche of pedagogic profit-centers, each with its own fee schedules and ownership patterns. -” New York Times

Most parents are” paying more for private schools this year in New Zealand, despite a $35 million government funding boost to make them more affordable -” The Dominion Post

Canada’s First Nations University is likely to close next month, now that the federal government has followed the provincial Saskatchewan government in withdrawing funds. The university was once “considered a beacon for aboriginal education worldwide,” but has been hit by a series of financial and management scandals. -” The Globe and Mail


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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