Education consultant, ED Insider, has sourced the papers considered by the Minister for Tertiary Education and Cabinet regarding the merger of the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Tairāwhiti Polytechnic (Tairāwhiti). The papers show that EIT had originally asked for $5 million capital funding and 400 EFTS growth in their business case, but were provided with up to $7.5 million operating grants dependent on close monitoring by the TEC board and regular reporting of expenses.
The papers show that the process was a very rapid one. In September 2010, Tairāwhiti and EIT presented a draft business case to the TEC with their intent to merge. By late November 2010, the Minister and Cabinet noted points and took decisions on the merger. Then on 1 December, the Minister announced the disestablishment of Tairāwhiti and merger with EIT, effective 1 January 2011.
Ed Insider notes that this is the first time in a while that the National-led government has agreed to provide a grant to a tertiary institution or institutions. It also agreed to waive covenants and reporting requirements for Tairāwhiti’s $1.3 million suspensory loan from the Crown.
“It certainly was a tight process. Throughout the documents, there are references to ‘tight timeframes’, ‘needing further work’, ‘would have liked more time’. Almost every time Treasury makes a comment, they start by noting how little time they had to provide advice. ”
“One of the timeframe issues we found particularly interesting was how little time the Minister had to consider EIT’s request of $7.5 million rather than the initial $5 million. Advice shows that Treasury and TEC officials had agreed in principle to the $7.5 million before they had advised the Minister,” said the ED Insider report.
Thanks to Lexinatrix @ Flickr for the photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/lex/43631705/in/photostream/