Unlikely Budget will find missing billion

Posted By TEU on May 21, 2015 |

Tertiary Update Vol 18 No 15

The government’s Budget today is unlikely to have anything new and positive in it for tertiary education. If the government had good news it probably would have started to sing about it by now, says TEU national president Sandra Grey.

The problem is, that without a dramatic change in direction, this budget will not be able to restore the damage of previous budgets.

Since this government’s first budget in 2009 real government funding, adjusted for CPI, has fallen by $1 billion.  Roughly three-quarters of that billion dollars is cuts to student loans and allowances, and the remaining $250 million is cuts to teaching and learning.

NZUSA’s Rory McCourt provided a long list of those student support cuts earlier this week.

Even without adjusting for inflation the government is spending $500 million less on tertiary education than it was in 2009.

“The government’s unnecessary focus on trying to bring New Zealand’s economy back into surplus  means we don’t expect to see enough new investment to repair the damage done to tertiary education in the last six years” says Grey.

A table using Treasury figures comparing government funding to inflation (including Treasury’s forecasts for upcoming years in available online at http://bit.ly/1IM1YME.

TEU will be publishing commentary and news on Budget 2015 over the next week at this webpage: https://teu.ac.nz/2015/05/budget-2015/

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Pink shirts will stop bullying
  2. Unitec’s redevelopment – less land and fewer staff
  3. Global test for university students looms
  4. Little debates future of work in Auckland

Other news

A guest post by Rory McCourt, NZUSA president and Sandra Grey TEU president on university council  – Kiwiblog (Join in among the comments).

The stakes are high as consultation resumes on a national strategy for Maori adult literacy and numeracy – Rotorua Daily Post

Having four seats on the council held aside for student and staff representatives was necessary because ”if it’s just one or two people, it’s easy for them to be isolated, and people need support going into these roles’. The [tertiary education] minister identifies that himself by making four ministerial appointees,” TEU organiser Shaun Scott said – Otago Daily Times

Lincoln University believes the country’s first fee-setting agreement for domestic students will ensure more are attracted and retained on its campus. As of next year, the university will become the first to offer domestic students a set price for the duration of their degree. – Timaru Herald

A multi-million dollar civil action by Former Te Wananga o Aotearoa head, Rongo Wetere against the wananga has been labelled “dishonourable” – Waikato Times

Vote Health’s operational funding will need to increase by $549 million in this year’s Budget just to maintain the current levels of service. This is one of the key findings of a pre-Budget analysis of government health expenditure prepared by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions – CTU

Thanks to nznationalparty @ Flickr for the photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/nznationalparty/4623241565

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