Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university

Posted By TEU on Apr 17, 2014 | 1 comment

Massey chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE). TEU vice-president Sandra Grey says that appears to conflict with his commitment to the university, and the chancellor should concentrate on promoting high quality public education rather than competing against it.

Intueri Education Group is planning to list on the New Zealand stock exchange next month and hopes to raise up to $234 million.

However, Sandra Grey says education is a public good, not something that shareholders should trade back and forth in the hope of making a profit.

Intueri Education owns the North Shore International Academy, The Cut Above Academy, Elite International School of Beauty and Spa Therapies, Design & Arts College (where TEU has members) and NZ School of Commercial Diver Training. Last month its owner company, Arowana, combined it with Quantum Education Group and online vocational school Online Courses Australia, creating a company with seven colleges, 26 locations and about 9000 student enrolments.

Chris Kelly is a Wellington businessperson who the university appointed as chancellor in December last year.

Sandra Grey says because of the scale of Intueri and the courses it will be offering, it will be in competition with Massey University for students.

“But more importantly the chancellor of a university should be a spokesperson for high quality public education that is accessible to everyone who wants the opportunity. It’s hard to square that philosophy with chairing a company that believes education is a service to be bought and sold for a profit.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Lincoln cleaners outsourced
  2. Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
  3. Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
  4. Northern Europe looks to end fixed term agreements for academics

Other news

Seven polytechnics and universities will get less government funding this year, figures from the Tertiary Education Commission show – Radio NZ

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To explain why universities are edgy about the Government’s intentions towards them, Professor Jack Heinemann wheels in Archimedes, the Greek physicist whose theories from the 3rd century BC have stood the test of time – New Zealand Herald

There is no evidence that someone who has been successful in running a profitable business will have any expertise in running a non-profit university – Prof Ananish Chaudhuri in the New Zealand Herald

Otago Polytechnic’s work with Open Education Resource Universitas (OERu) could be worth 10-20 percent of revenue for the polytechnic within a decade – Otago Daily Times

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