Polytechnics lose in L1-2 funding scramble

Posted By TEU on Oct 18, 2012 |

The uneven way the Tertiary Education Commission distributed its $38 million level 1-2 funding available for tender means some polytechnics will probably have to cut courses and restructure or reorganise say TEU national president Sandra Grey.

WITT is the first polytechnic to speak out about the funding , telling the Taranaki Daily News this morning that Taranaki’s unique Māori dialect may soon be extinct with the loss of foundation-level funding to the polytechnic.

Last week the Daily News reported that WITT had missed out on more than $1 million of 2013 funding for its level one and two courses.

WITT chief executive Richard Handley told the Daily News he was shocked by the commission’s decision, considering the establishment had received a glowing external evaluation and review report recently.

“It was an amazing report,” he said. “The logic of this escapes me, I just don’t get it.”

Mr Handley said while it was not yet known which of its programmes would be affected, Witt had lost funding for 43 percent of its level one and two student places.

Only six polytechnics out of eighteen and one wānanga received funding from the competitive pool of money while $12 million of the $38 million went to 17 private training enterprises. $38 million represents about one-third of funding for level 1 and 2 courses.  The government has said it would like to move all level 1-2 funding to tender in the future.

The commission released more information about the successful tenders this week, saying one of the deciding factors it used to choose to fund providers was “value for money” rather than quality. Sandra Grey responded to this saying:

“If this competitive funding model continues not only will we see more and more public education money in the hands of private for profit companies, but we will also see a downward spiral in quality as polytechnics and wānanga respond to the expectations of the tertiary education commission and design courses that are cheap rather than high quality.”

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