Tertiary Education, Skills, Employment, Economic Development, Science and Sports Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced a suite of tertiary education innovations aimed at ensuring future Olympic glory for New Zealand athletes.
The innovations include financial incentives for academics whose students go on to win Olympic medals, rewards for institutions whose research supports athletic innovation and a reporting and monitoring system that tracks the athletic progress of students through university or polytechnic study.
“We want to showcase New Zealand to the world at the 2016 Rio Olympics Steven Joyce told Tertiary Update reporter Paki Taunuhia. “The United States, one of the world’s most successful Olympic nations, draws a lot of its athletic success from the sports programme in its higher education system. We think we can not only emulate that but supersede it.”
Steven Joyce says he will also look at adjusting SAC funding to lower tuition fees for students studying physical education, physiotherapy, sports medicine and chemistry.
TEU immediately complained to the minister that his incentives-based system would be unfair on those academics and institutions who were focused on other non-athletic related education and research, such as those engaging with the business community.
“Not everything can be measured and quantified in terms of sporting success,” said TEU national president Sandra Grey. “Many of our members working hard commercialising their research and improving NZ’s business environment will suffer under this new system because money will be taken away and given to arts lecturers who are writing inspirational lyric poems for their athlete students.”