Budget 2024: Our voices.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 28, No 10

By Huhana Watene and Dr Julie Douglas, Tumu Whakarae | National Presidents

The Budget fails tertiary education and in doing so it fails all New Zealanders, not just now but for years to come.

Budget 2024 is an anathema to the idea that “education is the great liberator, the great equaliser and the most enduring gift we can bestow on our children” (as the Minister of Finance described it in her Budget speech).

The deliberate choices in this Budget will lead to continued uncertainty in our sector, the continued questionable viability of our institutions, and will lead to continuing job losses, programme losses, and loss of provision.

Education is the liberation of the people and therefore needs investment not rhetoric.

Our tertiary education institutions – universities, polytechnics, wānanga, and community providers – are needed to train the next generation of nurses, mechanics, plumbers, and carers that we are all reliant on.

The cost of delivering education is going up and up. But the investment of the government is not matching.

To make matters worse, the government has decided that students will make up the shortfall by paying more fees in exchange for the declining quality of education that cuts deliver.

There will be cuts to provision because there is not enough money to provide all the courses currently available to New Zealanders, in all the places that our people live and work.

There will be cuts to the quality of education provision, because there will be fewer and fewer staff to support students in their learning journey.

It’s likely the cuts to the universities, polytechnics, and wānanga will leave spaces for ‘for-profit’ education providers to swoop in and charge learners without the same quality of those owned by and accountable to the public.

We’ve written to the ministers of education, tertiary education, and science and innovation to raise our concerns directly.

You can do your part too. We need to keep education and training local, quality, and public. Join our Local Training Matters campaign here.

Also in this update:

Other stories:

A Budget without imagination or vision – TEU

Budget 2024 fails to deliver investment that New Zealanders need – CTU

Budget 2024 lays bare senseless cuts to public services to fund tax cuts – PSA

Budget 2024 is effectively a frontline funding cut for schools – NZEI