In comments to National Radio’s” Morning Report yesterday morning, Canterbury vice-chancellor Rod Carr highlighted the growing workload pressures on tertiary education staff. Professor Carr told Radio New Zealand:
“Last year we enrolled an additional 1.5 percent more international students, 5 percent more domestic students, 11 percent more post-graduate students and we earned 15 percent more research income, and we have 0.7 percent more staff. I think that looks like a pretty significant productivity gain. Others might think it is an erosion of quality. But we are, as they say, sweating the business every day. We are trying to make sure we are efficient and effective with the use of our resources.”
TEU national president Dr Tom Ryan says the University of Canterbury is one of the tertiary institutions that has undergone significant growth in student numbers both last year and this year. The PBRF system means too that universities are producing more and better research, without an equivalent increase in funding.
Data released by the Ministry of Education yesterday shows that” income from research contracts for universities in 2008 was $140 million” higher than in 2002″ (up” 61 percent)” .” Over the same period external research income as a percentage of all income has been gradually increasing, to 13.2 percent.
“There is no doubt that workloads are increasing in tertiary institutions,” said Dr Ryan. “Not only does that place unfair stress on staff who are being asked to do more with less; it also risks the quality of our world-class education system. The danger is that we will lose some of the less quantifiable benefits for staff in higher education, such as reflection time, time spent collaborating with other staff, and time spent discussing ideas with students outside the core course curriculum.”