Recovering UC needs wholehearted support from govt

Posted By TEU on Jul 4, 2013 |

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (the University of Canterbury) is recovering, and has the kaha (strength) to build and grow but, it needs more than half-hearted tautoko (support) from government for its role as a broadly based institution, says local TEU branch president Jack Heinemann.

His kōrero (comments) follows a story from The Press suggesting that Treasury is recommending the government fund only part of the university’s request for pūtea tautako (funding) as it rebuilds.

The Press reports the university asked the government for between $200 million and $250m in tautoko – about 5 percent of its 10-year operating and capital works budget – but just how much the kāwanatanga (government) would fund would not be known until October.

The newspaper says Treasury papers show that it wants the government to play “a heavy hand in the future academic direction of te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha and [withhold] funding until it alters its business plan accordingly.”

Treasury want government monies to focus on boosting pūtaiao and pūkaha (science and engineering).

The Labour Party’s tertiary education kaikōrero (spokesperson) Megan Woods said the Treasury’s involvement was “totally inappropriate”.

“Cantabrians deserve that decisions about the future of their whare wānanga are made for sound educational reasons.”

However tertiary education minister Steven Joyce denied Treasury had been any more involved than normal, saying “obviously we’re all in agreement” over the importance of pūtaiao and pūkaha.

Jack Heinemann says the whare wānanga is recovering well.

“It has a vibrant campus, students are returning, the whare wānanga is making a significant economic and cultural contribution to the province and beyond. Waitaha parents should and do aspire to send their tamariki (children) to Waitaha’s university.”

“Everyone here appreciates the help we have received from government to date. The whare wānanga is an important public institution and serves many needs. The biggest brick missing in the rebuild is the full tautoko of the kāwanatanga. Its mediated and half-hearted commitment to the university is the block that is limiting the whare wānanga in its role as a leader in Waitaha’s recovery.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Living Wage good for employers and the economy
  2. Kauae runga, kauae raro
  3. Parata wants more trades, less academia
  4. Victoria caretakers ratify pay-rises

Other news

“The evidence is clear.  It’s better for babies, families and our whole country for baby to be able to spend more time at home in the first year of life.” – e-postcard to John Key

A Dunedin primary school has become the first in Aotearoa to pay its entire staff a living wage of at least $18.40 an hour – New Zealand Herald

Australia’s new tertiary education minister has opened the kūwaha (door) to reversing $2.3 billion in cuts to the sector following intense lobbying by whare wānanga (universities). In his first morning in the job on Monday, Higher Education Minister Kim Carr – a key kaitautoko (supporter)  of new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – said he would be talking to whare wānanga about the issue in the context of profound budget challenges – Sydney Morning Herald

Te Kuara Matakini ki Otago (Otago Polytechnic) is “delighted” with the response to its offer of free tuition worth up to $5000 for trade courses, with demand exceeding the number of places in most subjects Otago Daily Times

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