Joyce’s budget assault on regional polytechnics

Posted By TEU on May 14, 2014 | 1 comment

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 14

Since Steven Joyce became tertiary education minister in 2010 the government has made severe funding cuts to regional polytechnics. His government has cut funding to ten regional polytechnics by an average of one dollar in every five according to Tertiary Education Commission data.

“Massive funding cuts to regional polytechnics are cutting opportunities for local staff, students and communities,” says Lesley Francey, TEU national president.

“Steven Joyce needs to invest in our regions, not just the cities.”

The government has cut funding for regional polytechnics by a total of $60 million since 2010. It has also cut funding to the seven urban polytechnics by a smaller amount of $400,000. In both instances these cuts are exacerbated because inflation of 8.7 percent over the period means the impact of the cuts is much worse.

Among those hardest hit, UCOL, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Aoraki Polytechnic have suffered government-funding cuts of between 25 and 56 percent in the last four years.

Meanwhile the government increased funding for privately owned tertiary education companies (PTEs) by $23 million, or 7.2 percent in the last two years alone (2012-2014).

For more information, see the spreadsheet outlining government funding to polytechnics 2010-2014 at

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Tune in for the latest season of Mad Women
  2. Awanuiārangi members vote on 3.7 percent for two years
  3. Part-time demonstrator wins mystery trip
  4. Take my money, please
  5. TEU challenges government’s Education Amendment Bill

Other news

James Houkāmau and Margaret Taurere talk about rising tertiary education costs – Te Karere

The branch president of Whitireia’s Tertiary Education Union branch, George Tongariro, says polytechnics have lost a lot of funding in recent years. “We’ve got to do more work with less money,” he says. “In my particular area we’ve actually increased what we teach with the same staffing numbers.” – Radio NZ

Following Australia’s budget yesterday, student fees will now skyrocket at some universities, university funding has been cut, the cost of servicing student debt will increase and the viability of some of our universities will be undermined by for-profit private providers – NTEU

Students are suffering as the support they are entitled to for help with housing costs fails to keep pace with skyrocketing rents, according to research released this week – NZUSA

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has an academic department in its College of Education & Health Professions that is one of the strangest I have ever seen – Gene Glass



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