TEU’s national day of action opposing cuts to foundation studies campaign drew widespread publicity and a small initial victory at UCOL where several jobs were saved.
As last week’s day of action took place the CEO of UCOL, Paul McElroy announced that the polytechnic would no longer be closing four programmes: the Certificate in Fashion and Beauty level 1, the Certificate in Tertiary Study Skills level 1, and the Certificate in Motorsport level 2 in Palmerston North, and in Whanganui the Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) level 3.
UCOL Chief Executive Paul McElroy said changes to the proposals had been made as a result of the consultation process, appeals received from staff, feedback received from others and last-minute negotiations with the Tertiary Education Commission.
The above decisions save eight full-time jobs. However, there are still 32 full-time equivalent staff positions at UCOL that will go as a result of the cuts. The Manawatu Standard also reports a Tertiary Education Commission funding win for UCOL will save two teaching staff who had previously been told their prison education programme and jobs were going to be scrapped.
Among the media coverage last week the New Zealand Herald noted polytechnics have lost millions of dollars of funding, Otago Polytechnic has lost about $514,000 in funding and its acting chief executive said tendering of L-1 and L-2 funding may be part of a privatisation push and Labour’s tertiary education spokesperson Grant Robertson said it would damage the quality of tertiary education. TEU members protested at WITT,WelTec, UCOL and MIT. An opinion piece in the Rotorua Daily Post argued says the changes won’t help jobless youth. SIT is waiting to see if it will lose money from the cuts too.
TEU has more on the issue including photos from last week at this webpage.