3000 new places for university students

Posted By TEU on Oct 14, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 39

The Government will fund almost 3,000 more university student places over the next two years, tertiary education minister Steven Joyce announced this week.

“The funding will provide another 1580 places next year and 1315 in 2012 above current projected funding levels. It follows 765 new university places the Government already announced in the Budget for 2011.”

“The Government was already expecting graduate numbers to be about 20 percent higher by 2013 than in the 2000s and this extra funding will increase that even further,” said Mr Joyce.

The extra funding for university places comes from funding cuts the government announced last week to industry training organisations and reprioritised underspending in the area.

“In the current economic environment it is critical the Government gets the most out of every dollar spent. This shift in funding is part of this Government’s push to get higher productivity out of the more than $4 billion we spend on tertiary education,” said Mr Joyce.

“It also reflects the nature of the economic cycle. As New Zealand recovers from recession there remains strong demand for full-time degree study and less demand for industry-based training. That trend will likely start to reverse again over the next few years. We are committed to keeping a close eye on these trends and responding to the training needs of New Zealanders,” said Mr Joyce.

TEU national president Dr Tom Ryan said the $55 million for an additional 3000 places is appreciated:

“It will go some way to alleviating the pressure from would-be university students.”

“We are concerned however, that there does not appear to be a strategic overview of what is needed in the area of trades and skills education.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Bay of Plenty redundancies highlight danger of new employment laws
  2. Report says schools preventing Pacific Islanders getting into tertiary education
  3. Colombian academic jailed for beliefs
  4. Open Polytechnic student-staff ratio skyrockets

Other news

The Eastern Institute of Technology and Tairawhiti Polytechnic are consulting staff on plans to merge the two institutions. The consultation follows agreement in principle between the Councils of the two institutions for a merger that would take effect from next year – EIT

Parliament will vote for the third and final time on Wednesday next week on the Act Party’s bill to compel voluntary student membership on students associations.  It is likely that the bill, if passed, will cost tertiary institutions millions of dollars as they try to provide student support and services that had previously been funded directly by students.

Childcare for studying parents in Palmerston North just got more expensive with at least four Palmerston North early childhood education centres – Turitea Child Care Centre, Hokowhitu Children’s Centre, Massey Child Care, and UCOL’s Early Education Centre – forced to increase prices by up to 15 percent and reduce the number of qualified teachers this year – Manawatu Standard

University of Waikato staff are losing their jobs because of bad planning and decision-making by senior management at Waikato University, the TEU claims. In a letter leaked to the Waikato Times, TEU says Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences staff are being penalised because of bad planning by senior management. The university is proposing to cut about 13 jobs from Arts and Social Sciences – Waikato Times

UCU has warned that Lord Browne’s recommendations for higher education in Britain would have a devastating effect, seeing some universities forced to close and the curriculum dangerously narrowed, as the cost of university is effectively transferred from the state to the family – University and College Union

Can academic freedom exist in a country where speech is not free? Can liberal education flourish in an illiberal context? These are two of the questions that Yale University faces in considering whether to establish, in partnership with the National University of Singapore, a liberal arts college in Singapore – Inside Higher Ed

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: http://scr.im/stephenday

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