Workload increases at AUT

Posted By TEU on Apr 15, 2010 |

Tertiary Update, Vol 13 No 13, 15 April 2010

Equivalent full-time student (EFTS) numbers at AUT increased by over 10 percent last year to over 18,000 EFTS whilst the number of academic staff to teach those students decreased for the same period.

AUT released its Annual Report for 2009 which show’s that the full-time equivalent academic staff numbers fell by 2.8 percent at the same time as student enrolments increased by 1,500 students or 6 percent.

The result of this was a change in the staff student ratio from 16.8:1 to 18.8:1, or two extra students for every staff member.”  It also resulted in a strong financial performance for the university.” The net surplus of $8 million was a 69 percent improvement on the 2008 surplus and was 8 percent ahead of budget.

TEU branch president, John Prince, says rising student numbers is causing more workload.

“Many AUT staff have spoken to me over the last twelve months commenting on the increase in student numbers in their classes with a corresponding increase in additional work such as marking and pastoral care,” said Mr Prince. “Staff have expressed a concern about how this affects the classroom experience for students, particularly those who are finding studying difficult. They also are very aware that the salary increases they have received in the last twelve months have not reflected the increase in productivity the university has experienced.”

The report also shows AUT responding to government desire to see greater focus on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes rather than pre-degree study.”  The number of EFTS studying pre-degree courses fell by nearly 600 last year while the number of undergraduate EFTS rose by 1,500 and the number of postgraduate EFTS rose by 300.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Minister announces polytechnic appointees
  2. Growing Pasifika population deserves attention
  3. New Zealand signs education trade agreement with India
  4. Wānanga staff gain noho sleepover payment
  5. Disabled students face barriers to education

Other News

Dates for the legal facilitation between TEU members at the six polytechnics – Northtec, Unitec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Wintec, WITT and Whitireia – and their employers have been set for 11 and 12 May. Facilitation follows a protracted dispute and industrial action as workers seek to retain their existing employment conditions that the employers want to take away.

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA: “Together we can make universal education in Africa a reality and raise awareness of the challenges and needs of the continent, not only in the lead up but long after the final whistle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We call on all governments to be accountable for their promises on education and every sector of society should also join in and concretely contribute.” – 1Goal.

The possible EIT-Tairāwhiti Polytechnic merger is likely to be a longer term process than initially anticipated with the two polytechnics assuring TEU that there will be no impact on staffing or teaching programmes for at least a year.

One of New Zealand’s biggest private training enterprises has been closed amid revelations that students on its business courses were not even expected to attend to gain their qualifications. The API Institute was one of the biggest PTEs in Auckland, with 200 students and more than 20 staff, many of whom are owed thousands of dollars in wages. The school also provided management, design, early childhood education, motor engineering, and English courses – Sunday Star Times.

Two-year degrees, which British education secretary, Lord Mandelson, has identified as key to the future of UK higher education, may not be economically viable, evidence suggests. A review by the Higher Education Academy found that most were viable only because they were backed by at least “£250,000 in development funds – Times Higher Education Supplement


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:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email