Symposium calls for lifelong learning

Posted By TEU on Jul 28, 2016 | 2 comments

Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 26

Representatives of businesses, communities and students called for tertiary education to focus on lifelong learning last week.

TEU held a symposium titled Voices from Tertiary Education last week aiming to describe to the Productivity Commission what people working in the sector think supports innovative and productive tertiary education.

People working from across tertiary education prevented a diverse range of views, as did representatives from business, students, communities and peak sector bodies.

Many of them agreed on one priority though.

Josh Williams from the Industry Training Federation summed up the mood on the first evening:

“So, if the question for this session is what does an innovative tertiary education sector look like, I say we need to take a look at an old idea – lifelong learning. I think it would be innovative enough to finally get serious about that idea.”

TEU president Sandra Grey says the government’s focus on educating school leavers at the expense of everyone else is failing everyone – employers who need workers to be able to improve their skills, people trying to find jobs in a changing economy, communities that want education opportunities for all their people.

“One simple, innovative thing the Productivity Commission could to do would be to recommend to the government an education system that gives everyone an equal opportunity to learn, no matter what their age or place in life,”  says Grey.

Since the current government came to power it has introduced a 7-yearlifetime limit on student loans, removed eligibility for loans for living costs or course-related costs for students aged over 55, introduced a three-year stand down on student loans for refugees, restricted student allowances for students aged over 40, removed allowances entirely for students aged over 65, and cut most of the funding for adult and community education and Parents as First Teachers. The government’s Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) 2014–2019 requires tertiary education providers to focus on lifting performance in the 18–25 age group.

NZUSA noted last year:

“The total number of Kiwis aged 55 and over enrolled in tertiary study has plummeted from over 33,000 in 2008 to less than 19,000 in 2014.”

TEU has more coverage of the symposium including photos, research notes, audio and video recordings at, which we are updating throughout the next few days.

Also in Tertiary Update this week

  1. Victoria staff reject privatising foundation studies
  2. Stressed tertiary education staff struggling with work
  3. Labour’s dole-for-apprenticeships policy
  4. Joyce has no answers for fraud questions

Other news

Jim Bolger tell’s TEU’s symposium that he is disquietened by neoliberal economics – Audioboom

Compulsory redundancies may be required in the University of Otago division of humanities, an email from the division’s pro-vice-chancellor reveals – Otago Daily Times

TEU’s Massey University branch is holding Pokémon lure party at its Solidarity Forever Pokéstop. In solidarity with other Pokémon trainers, they will be catching Pokémon, and sharing free food – Facebook

TEU’s Canterbury University branch is promoting a public meeting by West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda. His visit to Christchurch coincides with a dramatic increase in violence by the Indonesian security forces against West Papuans simply demanding their human rights. Indonesian security forces have committed gross human rights abuses against the indigenous Papuans, with over 500,000 civilians killed to date – Facebook

A report by the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, published today, stressed that tax systems can be used to counter inequality and drive inclusive growth, at a time when incomes are polarised to historic levels. It also urged for the removal of tax policies that benefitted the wealthy – Public Finance International

The Turkish government’s post-coup demand for the resignations of 1,500 university deans appears to be a blanket measure that will allow for case-by-case examinations of political loyalty – The Chronicle

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