Regional polytechnics battered by government cuts

Posted By TEU on Jun 20, 2012 |

Tertiary Update Vol 15 No 21

Annual reports from twelve of the country’s 18 polytechnics show that the government is drastically cutting funding to polytechnics, and especially regional community polytechnics. Across the 12 polytechnics that have released their 2011 annual reports government grants fell 4.4 percent or $17 million.

The polytechnics that have been the worst hit by 2011 funding cuts were regional polytechnics such as Aoraki in Timaru, where the government grant fell by 19 percent or $4 million, Te Tai Poutini in Westport where the grant fell by 14 percent or $3 million, and NorthTec in Whangarei where the government grant fell by 13 percent or $4 million.

Three city-based polytechnics recorded an increase in their government grant: MIT, Wintec and CPIT.

Aoraki Polytechnic’s chief executive Kay Nelson blamed the institute’s first deficit in five years on government funding cuts, saying, “This had serious consequences for our financial position.”

TEU national president Sandra Grey said the government is denying people in regional communities the chance to train for jobs.

“People want the chance to learn, and they want that opportunity in their own local communities. Students in our regions should not see their polytechnics cut back and their learning opportunities diminished,” said Sandra Grey.

Sandra Grey says this problem is likely to get worse this year because the government budget now allows private for profit companies to compete for funding that previously went to regional polytechnics.

Actual 2011 Govt grant ($000) Actual 2010 Govt grant  ($000) Percentage difference
Aoraki 17,264 21,396 -19.31%
Bay of Plenty 25,877 28,084 -7.86%
Christchurch (CPIT) 50,684 48,825 3.81%
Manukau (MIT) 57,777 54,679 5.67%
Nelson Marlborough (NMIT) 22,329 25,340 -11.88%
Northtec 27,373 31,355 -12.70%
Otago 31,204 33,440 -6.69%
Te Tai Poutini 18,228 21,141 -13.78%
Wellington (Weltec) 28,988 30,451 -4.80%
Whitireia 25,862 26,390 -2.00%
Waikato (Wintec) 46,714 46,139 1.25%
Taranaki (WITT) 15,103 17,127 -11.82%
TOTAL 367,403 384,367 -4.41%
Difference between 2010-2011 (16,964)

No report available yet: EIT, SIT, TOPNZ, UCOL, Unitec, Waiariki

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Lincoln swaps commerce staff for casual students
  2. Pastoral care should be specialist role, not add on
  3. Minister opts for shared council appointments
  4. Aussies want 2000 new permanent academic jobs

Other news

The government is under fire over its efforts to boost the number of tradespeople to help rebuild Christchurch. The news that some industries are still desperate for trained workers comes after revelations that only a fraction of the millions specifically allocated for the training of tradespeople has been spent – TVNZ

No single student over 24 is better off on a student loan than a student allowance. All will get less – and pay most of it back. This means all post graduate students who have to get government assistance to live will be worse off due to the government’s decision to scrap their student allowances – Dave Crampton does the maths on student allowance changes.

It’s good that job creation is at the top of the agenda at the G20 summit in Mexico. But young people need the right skills to do those jobs – and now they’re demanding that world leaders finally give serious attention to developing skills – Hans Botnen Eide at Education for All

More course closures are likely at Canterbury University as it tries to balance its books. University vice-chancellor Rod Carr said he did not know which courses would be axed next or when decisions would be made. The five colleges within the university were reviewing their operations to determine how they were going to “live within their means”, he said – The Press

Advocates of “open access” publishing in academia say a UK report that proposes spending £60 million a year to make all publicly-funded research free to access will protect the profits of publishers at the expense of scholarship. The British government has enlisted the services of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in a bid to support open access publishing for all scholarly work by UK researchers, regardless of whether it is also published in a subscription-only journal – The Conversation

A new US study has found that tuition at for-profit schools where students receive federal aid was 75 per cent higher than at comparable for-profit schools whose students do not receive any aid. The study’s authors warned their findings do not apply to public colleges and private non-profit schools, which they say are different because they are not motivated by profits and because their prices are largely determined by state funding and donations – The Wall Street Journal

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