Polytechnics hit hardest by government funding cuts

Posted By TEU on Mar 9, 2017 |

Tertiary Update Vol 20 No 8

Government funding to polytechnics for the 2017 academic year has declined by 5 percent, figures published by Tertiary Education Commission show.

Figures detailing how tertiary education organisations would be funded for the current academic year were published by the TEC on Tuesday.

The TEU said it was concerned that delaying publication until after the start of the academic year lacked transparency.

“We were saying to the TEC in October last year that they needed to let individual institutions know as soon as possible how much funding they would receive so they could plan for the coming year,” Sandra Grey, TEU national president, said.

“Waiting until the academic year has started before these funding allocations are made public is also a concern. There needs to be more transparency over this process so that scrutiny of funding decisions and a full analysis of their impact doesn’t have to wait until the academic year is underway,” Grey added.

Taken in isolation total funding to the sector looks to be fairly stable, declining by $8 million, which is only a small change when compared to overall 2016 allocations.

However, while universities and wānanga have seen a slight increase in funding, institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) have seen their allocation cut by more than $28 million, or 5 percent, which is much more significant.

“Cutting funding to polytechnics has a significant impact on regional provision of tertiary education and will make accessing new learning opportunities so much harder for many communities,” Grey said.

Funding to NorthTec was slashed by 11 percent, making it one of the biggest casualties. Most of the cuts were for programmes at levels one and two.

The Open Polytechnic also saw 17 percent of its funding disappear, with courses at level three and above the hardest hit.

The 50 percent cut in funding to Tai Poutini Polytechnic is thought to reflect a half-year approval plan with future funding allocations still to be determined.

A Crown Manager was appointed to Tai Poutini Polytechnic towards the end of last year and the TEU said it was not clear how uncertainty over funding for the second half of the year would help ensure the provision of much needed education opportunities in the West Coast Region.

Not all institutions lost funding, however. The TEC has increased its allocation to Unitec by 6 per cent and to the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology by 2 percent.

Otago Polytechnic and the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki both saw modest funding increases of less than one percent.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. TEU campaign for a Living Wage builds
  2. Gender pay imbalance mostly a result of bias, research shows
  3. Otago job cuts likely, says pro-vice-chancellor
  4. New date for TEU’s Productivity Commission forums
  5. New pension age hits student debt generation
  6. Women Voters launched to shape election debate

Other news

Enrolments at Otago Polytechnic have increased 2.3 percent from the same time in 2016. International enrolments are up by 44 percent on the same time last year – Voxy

Lincoln University has appointed PwC’s Phil O’Callaghan as their Chief Commercial Officer – Lincoln University

The Ministry of Education has proposed a new technology hub for intermediate-aged students at Victoria University’s former teacher training campus in Karori – Stuff

Michael Ahie, Taranaki, Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui has been welcomed as Massey’s new Chancellor – Massey

The CEO of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, Richard Williams, has written a piece in support of WITT after its poor EER report – Taranaki Daily News

The 18 month pilot of a pathways student visa programme has been extended for another year – NZ Immigration

There has never been a more expensive time to be a parent in NZ, according to an NZ Herald comment piece on paying for student loans – NZ Herald

An Indian graduate and an immigration lawyer have said recent NZ immigration changes have made it much harder to attain skilled migrant category status – RNZ

Tertiary education minister Paul Goldsmith has appointed David Wratt, Jill Vintiner and Aidan Byrne to the Science Board – Beehive

The Health and Disability Commissioner is consulting about health and disability research involving adult participants who are unable to provide informed consent to participate – HRC NZ

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