Level 1-2 tutors hoping for stable funding this time

Posted By TEU on Sep 4, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 30

The Tertiary Education Commission has made interim funding decisions about how it will allocate up to $70 million of funding for level 1 and 2 (foundation studies) courses in 2015 and 2016 but it has not made those decisions public yet.

The commission’s funding decisions are not final and it says some tertiary education organisations have been given an opportunity to reconsider some aspects of their applications.

It has notified all applicants of their individual interim results.

The commission says once it has made its final funding decisions it will release summary information about the results of the competitive process, including a list of successful organisations, on its website.

When the commission implemented the government decision to tender out level 1 and 2 funding in 2012, more than a 100 polytechnic staff lost their jobs and many courses closed.

The commission’s chief executive Tim Fowler told Tertiary Update the competing allocation of the fund has increased from the $36 million allocated in 2012 to $70 million this year, as signalled when the fund was introduced in 2012.

He said in this funding round 15 polytechnics were successful with their applications compared with six in the previous round, and that there was not a big shift in funding regionally.

“Overall, while some institutions may have been unsuccessful , the regions will receive broadly the same level of investment in foundation allocation as they are currently receiving.”

Tim Fowler also told Tertiary Update that the commission determined the funding allocations by looking at ’both the best outcomes for learners and the best value for money (determined in both quality and price)’.

“Quality was assessed using a range of measures, including capability in delivering foundation education, literacy and numeracy capability and learner outcomes. Price accounted for 25 percent of the total score.”

Tim Fowler says tertiary education providers who are unsuccessful in this funding round may find other funding is available to them via a different Tertiary Education Commission fund, or from other agencies.

However, TEU is warning that further uncertainty around competitive funding will continue to undermine job security and quality education.

The union’s national secretary Sharn Riggs says funding cannot keep jumping to a cheaper supplier every two years without harming students and staff.

“If staff know their job is only safe until someone offers to do it more cheaply the pressure goes on from the organisations they work for to focus on outputs and bottom lines rather than giving their students the best education they can,” said Sharn Riggs.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. The next TEU president – a real choice
  2. Lesley Francey – fighting against casualisation
  3. Sandra Grey – politics for the people
  4. The general election and the economy
  5. University students’ unpaid internships
  6. Bill opens door to putting private and public universities



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