Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce has said in recent years that the path forward for universities is more international students (to address funding shortages), more postgraduate students and closer connections to the economy.
“One university, more than any other, has followed this formula,” says TEU women’s vice-president Cat Pausé, “And it has failed.”
Lincoln has the highest proportion of international students of any university in New Zealand. This is despite a dramatic fall in international students after the Canterbury earthquakes. Its ratio of international EFTS has fallen from 22 percent in 2007 to 17 percent in 2012, but that is still higher than any other university.
If you do not count its Telford students Lincoln has one of highest proportions of doctoral students of any university in New Zealand. It ratio of doctoral students to bachelor students, despite falling significantly from 2012-2013, is the second highest in New Zealand.
Moreover, it says of itself “arguably no other New Zealand university has had such a direct link with the New Zealand economy, and with the people responsible for fuelling the economy.” Lincoln is directly connected to wide range of local and international businesses, it has partnerships around the world and direct research relationships with a range of New Zealand companies.
“Lincoln has followed Steven Joyce’s recipe for success more closely than any other university in New Zealand. And yet financially it is the worst place of any university in New Zealand. It is now mid-way through a series of reviews aimed at cutting staff by $4 million. No one within the university or outside it is arguing these cuts are about improving quality of education. They are simply about cutting expenses to match income,” said Cat Pausé.
Cat Pausé says the missing number in Steven Joyce’s equation for healthy universities is proper sustainable funding to support high quality public education.
“Steven Joyce’s model for universities is a failure.”