Nursing education to move from polytechnics to universities?

Posted By TEU on Nov 4, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 42

The tertiary education advisory company Ed Insider reports that NZNO has released for consultation a vision statement on nursing in New Zealand. The statement includes the idea that universities should essentially take the lead in nursing education, replacing polytechnics.

The document 2020 and Beyond: A Vision for Nursing recommends that nursing education should shift to a national university-based curriculum, with ITPs offering just foundation and enrolled nursing training, along with clinical placement support. Consultation with NZNO members on this recommendation closes tomorrow.

Ed Insider’s chief executive, Dave Guerin, notes that nursing currently is very important to ITPs. Polytechnics enrolled 4,250 nursing EFTS in 2009 – 78 percent of total bachelor degree nursing EFTS, with universities enrolling the rest. Nursing degree EFTS made up 27 percent of all ITP degree EFTS – over four times more than the next biggest field of study, Graphic and Design Studies.

“Besides the EFTS, nursing apparently has good margins (with high EFTS/programme) at many ITPs and is great for ITP reputation, given the high esteem that nurses have,” said Mr Guerin.

“Looking at the flipside for universities, adding more nursing EFTS would boost their programmes, but would they be keen to add EFTS in an area that will drag down their PBRF average?”

Mr Guerin says the NZNO report will not set policy, but NZNO is an important body in the nursing sector and its views will influence others.

“Those in tertiary education should have their say on the document.”

National president of the TEU, Dr Tom Ryan, said that his organisation will be discussing the issue with NZNO and the wider sector.

“We will state that the views and interests of nursing educators currently employed in the many well-respected nursing programmes in ITPs are taken proper account of before this proposal is developed any further”.

“TEU’s concern is that nursing programmes might end up being marginalised and mistreated like is currently happening to some teacher education programmes that not so long ago were merged into universities,” said Dr Ryan.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. 1 in 7 NZers owes a student loan
  2. Thousands more students with university entrance
  3. Canterbury Uni to cut Nelson teacher education course
  4. Education salary rises lag behind
  5. Student membership bill will create unfunded costs and workload

Other news

The results of the TEU elections which concluded on 1 November saw the University of Auckland’s Kim Dirks, elected as University Academic Vice-President. Annie Barker (University of Waikato), Cerian Wagstaff (University of Auckland), and Rui Li (Victoria University) were elected as the three university sector representatives to the General Staff Sector Group (GSSG). At close of nominations there was just one valid nomination for the position of Women’s Vice-President so Alex Sims was declared elected. The successful candidates will take up their positions on 1 January 2011.

The government majority on the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee has published its reports on its two employment amendment bills, showing no significant changes to the plans to remove appeal rights from all employees in their first 90 days, restrict union access to workplaces, allow employers to demand a medical certificate for a single day’s absence, and encourage the sale of the fourth week’s annual leave. The CTU says the government has ignored the voices of thousands of New Zealanders who made submissions opposing the Bills.

Jobs may be affected in the proposed merger of EIT and Tairawhiti Polytechnic, says EIT chief executive Chris Collins. “The merger will immediately impact on senior management roles at Tairawhiti,” he said –Hawkes Bay Today

The gains Republicans made in Tuesday’s Congressional elections bode well for for-profit colleges, which are hoping for some respite from a harsh federal spotlight. They are also likely to lead to more-austere budgets on Capitol Hill, possibly resulting in spending cuts for student aid, research, and other higher-education priorities – The Chronicle

Universities in England will be able to charge tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year, as the government transfers much of the cost of courses from the state to students. Fees will rise to £6,000 – with an upper tier of £9,000, if universities ensure access for poorer students – BBC

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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