Government cuts $250 per student

Posted By TEU on Nov 25, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 45

A Ministry of Education report published this week shows that funding per equivalent full time student fell 3.2 percent between 2008 and 2009

The report, Outputs and outcomes of the government’s tertiary education expenditure 2005-2009, shows that while the government’s student achievement component funding increased between 2008 and 2009 by $70 million or 6.3 percent, this failed to match the combined effect of inflation and a rise in equivalent full-time students of 7.5 percent

The large rise in students meant that government funding increases were only enough to cover about half of the extra students.

TEU national president Dr Tom Ryan said that the report clarified the debate around tertiary education funding.

“The minister has repeatedly argued that funding is increasing, while those in the sector say all they see is budget cuts, redundancies and increased staff/student ratios.  The fact is that the minister’s new money barely goes half way to covering the cost of all the new students who we and the government are both encouraging to get an education. The net result is that there was $250 less for every student in 2009 than there was in 2008.”

“Students in 2009 would have needed an extra $100 million to get the same level of investment in their future as students in 2008 had. Students in 2010 and 2011 risk falling further behind as staff at tertiary institutions get by with reduced resources and less support per student,” said Dr Ryan.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Pike River mine disaster stuns Tai Poutini
  2. Jobs, jobs, jobs
  3. Employment rights erode with passing of bill
  4. Lincoln-Telford merger gets green light
  5. NZQA given more power over PTEs

Other news

Tertiary Education Union national industrial officer Irena Brorens said she was outraged and shocked council members voted yesterday to double their fees. Tutors have had nothing in two years, except a one-off payment of $700, she said. At yesterday’s council meeting in New Plymouth, councillors voted 6-2 for an increase which works out about double the current rate for council members. “How can they justify doubling their pay and giving us nothing?” Ms Brorens asked – Daily News

A cautionary tale about ranking institutions: Alexandria University in Egypt had been placed a surprisingly impressive 147th on the Times Higher Education Supplement’s list of top universities (only two places behind the University of Auckland). But, behind the headlines, Phil Baty, deputy editor of Times Higher Education, acknowledged that Alexandria’s surprising prominence was actually due to “the high output from one scholar in one journal” — soon identified on various blogs as Mohamed El Naschie, an Egyptian academic who published over 320 of his own articles in a scientific journal of which he was also the editor! –New York Times

In the wake of the military, shopping malls, and mosques, universities have become the latest target of the Pakistani Taliban, sowing terror among faculty members after a number of killings and kidnappings of prominent academics in the north-western region of the country – University World News

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:

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