Tertiary Update - Vol 21 No 20

For years union members have worked together to change the way the tertiary education sector is funded. Earlier this week, the government agreed with what students and staff have been saying and brought an end to performance-linked funding.This follows the announcement earlier this year at a TEU-led forum where the Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he would end competitive funding to some parts of the sector. Shortly after this year’s budget the TEU also persuaded the Minister to commit to reforming the tertiary education funding model.A team of researchers is currently analysing contributions to the TEU’s next state of the sector survey. Early indications suggest that many staff are still being put under pressure to pass students, change their approach to assessments, or change their method of teaching. Last year the TEU successfully brought these issues to the attention of national media, and held Ministers and decision-makers to account for the policies they’d introduced.The stories staff shared about the impact performance-linked funding was having on their jobs and students were really powerful. Working together with the union, we took those stories from tearooms to branch meetings, to decision-makers' offices, and into the corridors of power. What this week’s announcement shows is that change doesn't necessarily happen overnight - but if we keep the pressure on, and keep telling our stories, we do make a difference.The TEU is now calling on the Minister to get rid of Educational Performance Indicators (EPIs) that focus on progressions, retentions and completions, rather than on learning outcomes. He also needs to introduce a more collaborative approach to the funding of tertiary education.Union members will also be monitoring what impact ending performance-linked funding has in institutions. We’ll be looking for any sign that staff are still being put under pressure to change aspects of their teaching.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Listen to staff on proposed merger of WelTec and Whitireia
  2. TEU Kuia Whaea Kāterina Daniels retires
  3. Stuart McCutcheon will step down as Auckland Uni VC next year

Other news

Climate Change Minister James Shaw joined with staff and students to launch AUT’s Sustainability Roadmap in Auckland recentlyProviding Kaupapa Māori support and delivering on Treaty obligations within the university sector is critical for Māori graduate student success, according to ‘Te Tātua o Kahukura’, a National Research Project undertaken by Te Kotahi Research InstituteMBIE is seeking applications to host the NZ Data Science Platform, which may be funded up to $7m per annum for 7 years. Applications are due by 29 Nov 2018.The University of Canterbury (UC) aims to cut its carbon footprint by 45% over the next 10 to 15 years