Universities need to face up to aging workforce

Posted By TEU on Jul 7, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 24

TEU National President Sandra Grey believes that Universities NZ should take a greater leadership role in addressing the ageing workforce problem it has identified. Universities NZ has rightly identified that New Zealand universities need to recruit between 560 and 920 new academics each year for the next ten years to replace retiring academics. The peak body raised the issue a second time in its recently released annual report, after earlier publishing economic modelling research by BERL that suggested the ageing workforce is a threat to the future quality of university education and research in New Zealand.

“Universities NZ it knows what the problem is, now it needs to put pressure on its affiliate members to solve it,” said Dr Grey.

“The University of Auckland’s persistent attempts to drive down conditions for first time academics is the sort of behaviour that Universities New Zealand should be rejecting publicly.”

Creating an environment where it is more difficult to recruit and retain new academics in New Zealand hurts not just the University of Auckland but the entire university system said Dr Grey.

“The academic community places a lot of store on reputation. Universities NZ should be rightly concerned that the University of Auckland is hurting New Zealand’s reputation among those academics who are deciding whether to work here, Australia or further afield.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Tai Poutini finds new funding  stream
  2. Waikato Uni’s vigilant health and safety rep
  3. A century for Aoraki TEU
  4. Minister embeds literacy in entry level courses

Other news

In 2012 UC is substantially increasing its funding for scholarships, including offering an unlimited number of new UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships of between $1000 and $3000 (paid in cash) to all those students who qualify. As an example, before they start their NCEA Level 3 studies, students who achieve merit at NCEA Level 2 will be on track to receive at least a $1000 scholarship when they commence their studies at UC – University of Canterbury

Tai Poutini Polytechnic chief executive Paul Wilson says he has been told his contract will not be renewed in January. However, his bosses initially denied that when approached by the Greymouth Star.

David Shearer to the Minister for Tertiary Education (05 Jul 2011): How many new construction related training places, if any, have so far been created at Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics as part of the Skills for Canterbury package? – Parliamentary written question

Local job markets have specific needs, and Brazil’s technical institutes—the number of which has nearly tripled in eight years—are working to fulfil them – The Chronicle

Almost everybody in Australia wants a well-funded higher education system, but few people are prepared to pay for it. That was a key message of an opinion poll released last week by the National Tertiary Education Union – The Melbourne Age

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.





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