The OECD’s recently released Education at Glance 2010 statistics show that New Zealand tertiary education teachers face significantly higher student-teacher ratios than many others in the OECD.
New Zealand academics lecturers and tutors have an average ratio of 17.8 students compared to the OECD average of 15.8. New Zealand’s ratio is also higher than that of other English speaking countries with which it often compares itself, including Britain (16.9), the USA (15.0) and Ireland (15.9).
The TEU’s national secretary, Sharn Riggs, says that having 13 percent more students per teacher than the OECD average is likely to mean 13 percent more workload for tertiary teachers and general staff.
The OECD figures also show that tertiary teachers in New Zealand also have a higher student teacher ratio than their secondary (14.5) and primary (17.1) colleagues.
“Just as we now acknowledge that lower student-teacher ratios allow teachers to in primary and secondary schools to focus on high quality teaching and learning we should also acknowledge the same is true for tertiary education,” says Ms Riggs.