No wellbeing for tertiary education in Budget 2022.

Despite the success of Friday and Saturday’s TEU Conference, Thursday afternoon’s government Budget cast a long shadow on proceedings.

The Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding, which comprises around 75% of income for universities and other providers, is budgeted to increase by 1.2% from January 2022 and 2.75% from January 2023. This at time when inflation is running at 6.9%.

Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey was “gutted” by the Budget. “Through successive governments, tertiary institutions have cut staffing to the bone year after year in order to combat inadequate funding. Under National, tertiary education was ignored entirely and since 2017 the Labour Government has failed to increase funding adequately enough to plug the gaps. The result of this has been staff stretched past breaking point as more and more of their colleagues walk out the door – either redundant or burnt out.”

“This budget will increase the pressure for more cuts and will do absolutely nothing to halt let alone repair the deterioration we have witnessed for the past 15 years or more.”

Universities New Zealand agreed with TEU’s sentiment, tweeting their disappointment: “#Budget2022’s tiny funding increases for universities won’t even allow them to keep up with inflation, let alone fulfil their full potential to be the key to wellbeing, addressing climate change and positioning NZ for post-pandemic success.”

At the conclusion of Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ speech to Conference on Friday, Sandra Grey presented him with a copy of our recent letter to Universities New Zealand requesting a joint approach to seeking more funding from the government.

Grey’s message to the Minister is clear: “Both employers and unions in this sector are telling you the same thing. It’s time to listen. We once again call on you to convene a tripartite forum to discuss tertiary education funding.”