Figures released by the Tertiary Education Commission yesterday show universities, polytechnics and wānanga are teaching thousands of extra students, despite not receiving government funding for them all.
Last year there were 15,000 more students at universities, polytechnics and wānanga than there were in 2008. But the government only provided funding for 7,500 more students than it did in 2008.
“Tertiary institutions were passed the burden of the government’s decision not to invest in tertiary education and not to fund bright, hopeful students who wanted to learn. Rather than turn those students away, universities, wānanga and polytechnics have tried to take as many of them as they can. But that has put financial pressure on those institutions. The result is academics and general staff around New Zealand are being made redundant as polytechnics, wānanga and universities restructure, close departments or reduce costs,” says Dr Ryan.
“Meanwhile student fees and student debt continues to rise, class sizes climb dramatically and undue pressure goes on staff who are trying to provide world-class teaching.”
“Every time the underlying reason is our government’s failure to invest in New Zealanders who are simply trying to improve their own productivity and contribute to the economy and our communities by getting an education,” said Dr Ryan.