Tertiary education underspend worsens funding cuts

Posted By TEU on Nov 16, 2013 | 1 comment

It is a shame nearly $80 million that the Tertiary Education Commission could have spent on teaching went unspent, says TEU vice president James Houkāmau.

The commission tabled its annual report to parliament on Tuesday, where it revealed that it underspent its funding for teaching and learning by $78 million, or 2.9 percent of its total budget. That includes $17 million that was budgeted for student achievement and $33 million that was budgeted for industry training but not spent.

“$17 million is nearly one million each for every polytechnic in New Zealand,” says Houkāmau, who works at Whitireia Polytechnic. “That money could have stopped courses closing, kept high quality teaching staff in jobs where they could help young New Zealanders get skills, and helped New Zealand learn its way out of tough financial times.”

The annual report also shows the commission left $3 million unspent in the impoverished adult and community education sector.

“Ongoing government cuts to funding are hard enough without the Tertiary Education Commission making those cuts even deeper by doling out only part of the money it sets aside to help students learn.”

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