$29 million cut from polytechnics this year

Posted By TEU on Apr 11, 2013 |

Tertiary Update Vol 16 No 11

Data from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) shows the government has made almost a direct transfer of $25 million from publicly owned polytechnics to privately-owned tertiary education providers (PTEs).

Government funding for polytechnics fell from last year to this year by $29 million dollars, or 4.7 percent.  Meanwhile funding for PTEs rose $25 million, or 7.8 percent.

TEU national president Lesley Francey described this as a massive transfer of wealth from public system students to private businesses.

“Polytechnics are in integral part of their communities, especially outside the major cities, and they have been robbed by this government since it took office. Another $29 million of cuts represents over $350 for every full time student in a polytechnic, or over $3000 for every full time staff member in a polytechnic. It worsens the cuts that have taken place each year since 2009. Members will yet again be facing the gut-wrenching stress of potential job losses.”

Aoraki (-22 percent), NMIT (-15 percent), EIT (-12 percent), and MIT (-6 percent) were the polytechnics that lost the most funding, each losing more than $3 million. The impact on the communities that these institutions serve has the potential to be hugely damaging.

On the positive side Te Tai Poutini saw its TEC funding rise by $1 million (6 percent) and Otago Polytechnic and SIT both recorded rises of less than 1 percent.

Dave Guerin from ED Insider notes that trades academy funding, which came from TEC last year will this year come from the Ministry of Education. In 2012 this was worth $9 million to polytechnics.

ED Insider also notes that TEC started targeting courses this year with less than 40 percent completion (up from 30 percent the previous year). However only 6 percent of the funding for those courses was removed – in other cases the courses had been dropped by or an improvement plan was in place.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Canterbury student numbers fall
  2. Otago postgrad student numbers fall
  3. Canterbury cleaners avoid carpark bill
  4. Vice-chancellors rue PBRF score release
  5. Strike threat at Melbourne over academic freedom

Other news

Any day now the Government will announce more changes to the Employment Relations Act. These changes will further drive down wages and undermine the conditions of all workers. They will also remove the small amount of protection most cleaners and hospitality workers get when the business they are working for loses a contract to another contractor – Helen Kelly, president of the Council of Trade Unions

MOOCS: The future of education or mere marketing? It’s no exaggeration to say that MOOCs are the current buzz of the university sector. They may not have made it into the public consciousness yet, but they’re up for discussion at almost every major education conference or gathering these days – ABC Radio

Supermarket operator Foodstuffs is isolating itself as a low wage employer for young workers, and should instead take the lead from the large fast food firms and others in retail who have opted out of youth rates, the retail workers’ union said today – First Union

Australian academics should not be contractually bound always to split their time equally between teaching and research, the vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide has said – Times Higher Education

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