Joyce prepares to shuffle the funding

Posted By TEU on Mar 11, 2010 |

Tertiary Update, Vol 13 No 8

Steven Joyce, in his” first major speech as minister of tertiary education, told the Wellington Chamber of Commerce that “it is highly unlikely that there will be any significant cash injections in the foreseeable future.”

He then went on to make three policy announcements.”  The first is that he would be rationalising the 6000 qualifications currently on offer in New Zealand.

The second is that, from 2012, between five and ten percent of tertiary education institutions’ funding will be based on how well they perform academically. The criteria for measuring academic performance will include qualification completion, successful course completion, and student progression to further study.

His third announcement concerned a move to link student loans to student achievement.

TEU national president Tom Ryan has been arguing for some time in response to the government’s tertiary education strategy that the government needs to start viewing tertiary education as an” investment, not a cost.

“We support a general tidy up of the available qualifications, and we see sense in the call for greater funding accountability and focus on achievement. But we have major concerns about the unintended consequences of some of these new policies.”

“In particular, we fear that pressure will go on tertiary staff to inflate their pass rates or dumb down their courses, and that harsher vetting of student applicants by institutions will unfairly disadvantage the very sociocultural groups that most need to be encouraged into and supported through higher education.”

“Sadly, too, Mr Joyce seems to have missed the bigger picture,” said Dr Ryan.

“As one commentator noted, we have a minister who is prepared to spend billions of dollars on motorways, on the premise of promoting economic growth, but is not prepared to spend any new money on tertiary education.”

“Indeed, he even seems unwilling to return to the sector the more than $100 million of institutional funding we had sliced off by his government’s recent budget. So much for catching up with Australia – where, incidentally, new investment in higher education continues.”

Watch Dr Ryan on TVNZ News last night.

Also in” Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Workload grows apace with rolls
  2. Minister won’t confirm future of equity funding
  3. Lincoln and Telford plan merger
  4. Gender biases exacerbated at University of Auckland
  5. Farewell Lyn Boddington

Other news

A recent study by the” Ministry of Women’s Affairs has revealed that only one year after entering employment an income gap of up to six percent develops between men and women with a bachelor’s qualification or above. Te Toi Ahurangi member Tania Loughlin discussed this issue last night on Māori TV’s” Te Kaea.

Canterbury University has axed 21 jobs, with more redundancies expected. The university announced last week that 46 general staff positions had been cut under the Star (Supporting Teaching And Research) project, with 25 new roles to be advertised –The Christchurch Press.”  TEU Canterbury branch’s latest newsletter on restructuring ishere.

“In order to create the education system we need for the future, we must be effective now to ensure our activities have the greatest impact on student achievement. This may mean scaling down some activities, and working in new ways on others,”” said Karen Sewell, Secretary for Education.” What might this mean for tertiary education,we might ask?

In Britain, the government’s target of getting 50 percent of young people to go to university has driven down standards and devalued degrees – and the next government should abolish it, leading” graduate” recruiters argue. -” The Guardian

In Australia, a review of international education yesterday called for a regulatory crackdown on dodgy private colleges it claims are no more than money-driven “permanent residency factories”. The review’s recommendations include a greater focus on financial penalties and more protection for international students -” The Australian

New Zealand and Australian universities have both lifted their” research collaboration with China. The top five institutional partners for New Zealand universities were all Australian universities, followed by Oxford and the University of Victoria in Canada. New Zealand also distinguished itself with a big jump in collaboration with Spain.

Fact sheets from the Ministry of Education show that nearly half (or 48 percent) of” adult New Zealanders aged 25 to 64 were in some form of study in 2006. Also, in 2008 there were 29,800 enrolments by domestic” Pasifika students in formal tertiary qualifications, up 1.8 percent on the previous year. At every qualification level, except certificates 1 to 3, Pasifika enrolments were higher in 2008 than in 2007.


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:”

Thanks to nznationalparty at Flickr for the photo

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