Unitec students petition against design dept cuts

Posted By TEU on Nov 28, 2013 | 3 comments

Tertiary Update Vol 16 No 41

A petition, led by Unitec’s design and visual arts students, which calls on the polytechnic not to make almost its entire Design and Visual Arts department redundant raced past its initial target of 1000 signatures this week and continues to climb.

The petition followed outrage from students and the community when they found out the polytechnic’s plan to fire 50 of its 53 design staff. TV3 News reported on Monday that students are considering their future following the announcement.

Students, who were only formally told about the decision this week, say it is too late to transfer to alternative education providers for the coming year.

“Students now need to contend with a departmental change process that is likely to disrupt their next year of study and see them used as guinea pigs to iron out this new model of educational delivery”, says student spokesperson Marisa Vodanovich.

Marisa Vodanovich says the announcement means only nine teaching positions have been allocated to educate over 570 students. She says students are enraged by statements that the as yet un-hired industry providers would receive sufficient teacher-training skills prior to the beginning of the school term to deliver education to students.

Students have begun an internal formal complaint over the planned redundancies.

(See photos below of student protests against the cuts.)

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Joyce and Francey argue funding again
  2. Rushed secret agreements could harm education
  3. Aussie wage gap real at Waikato University

Other news

The number of foreign students in New Zealand is falling for the second year in a row, driven by a big drop in enrolment numbers among South Koreans – Radio NZ.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce obscured the fact that there have been 700 fewer enrolments compared to last year in postgraduate diplomas, certificates and Doctoral degrees by saying that this sharp decline equates to ‘little effect’,” – Pete Hodkinson, NZUSA

Britain’s 3 December strike remains on, but unions hope for more talks to break the impasse. The UCU said to avoid strike action across UK universities on 3 December the employers’ representatives, UCEA, had to improve the 1 percent pay offer that was rejected by staff and which prompted strike action – UCU

Otago Polytechnic is exploring closer ties with Aoraki Polytechnic, which could include offering courses in Timaru and having a shared Dunedin campus – Otago Daily Times

Education International has opened a solidarity account to collect contributions to support the Philippines’ education communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda – Education International

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