A CPIT-Aoraki merger will only be good for students and local Canterbury communities if it protects small face-to-face classes, according to a TEU submission to the tertiary education minister.
The union provided the submission to the minister last week, arguing that although many regarded the merger as inevitable that does not mean it should go ahead if it is not educationally sound.
In particular, the submission states that the merged polytechnic must keep a diversity of delivery, including recognising that for some courses or programmes small class sizes are essential for their particular needs.
“Face-to-face learning opportunities must be prioritised in the new entity, with technology used as a resource to back up this work, not replace it,” the submission states.
TEU national president Sandra Grey says that to make sure the merged polytechnic provides courses in small communities (outside the Christchurch metropolitan area), there will need to be cross-subsidisation from department to department, and campus to campus.
Grey says the two polytechnics are not giving enough information about how they will protect small face-to-face courses after the merger, and the minister should demand that information before letting the merger go ahead.