TEU is disappointed with the Government's latest investment announcement to stabilise international student education, detailed as part of the strategic Covid-19 recovery plan.
The Government's $51M investment is primarily focussed on the compulsory sector and private tertiary establishments (PTEs) instead of the public tertiary providers such as polytechnics, wānanga and universities, where the bulk of international students attend.
TEU National President Michael Gilchrist has responded stating “We need a much more comprehensive plan and a much stronger indication of financial support for the tertiary sector”
“All we have are some discouraging comments about the viability of university and polytechnic plans for the quarantining of international students in 2021”.
The tertiary education sector – particularly universities –have been made to be reliant on international student revenue because of-underfunding by successive governments.
Gilchrist says it is good to see money and time is going into planning for the future and into transforming international student education, but in the short term universities and other tertiary institutions may look at cutting jobs if the yawning gap in funding due to loss of international students is not addressed.
It is becoming increasing clear that international students will not be able to return to study in Aotearoa New Zealand in significant numbers over the coming six months, and maybe longer. The global domino effect created by Covid-19 requires a plan to ensure our public institutions are supported.
Gilchrist continues “if the plan is for public institutions to run deficits this year – and we believe that is the plan - then that needs to be stated and restated clearly. But there also needs to be some plan developed and some indication of financial support for 2021”
“We have received support in our call for a sector wide forum leading to a much more comprehensive plan and this needs to be progressed without delay”
TEU is calling for clearer indications of how the Government expects polytechnics, wānanga and universities to manage financially in the coming few years.