Tertiary education out in the cold once again.
May 19, 2022
Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union and the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations are disappointed to see the tertiary education sector largely ignored once again in the Labour government’s fifth Budget since taking office in 2017.
Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey says “for a high wage economy, for the transformation plans the government is purporting to deliver, tertiary education cannot be left in the cold. If you’re not investing in our sector, you’re not investing.”
“With CPI at a thirty-year high, to not have inflation-proofed Vote Tertiary Education at the very least, shows that whatever the leaders of our sector are doing to argue their case, it’s not working. Universities in particular need to work with us to jointly advocate address the funding crisis.”
“While on an individual level, there has been some relief from the current economic downturn, 2022/23 total appropriations for tertiary education have gone down. The effect of this is no money for training counsellors, Information Technology specialists, farmers, forestry workers, or te reo Māori speakers among other areas needed to deliver a wellbeing Budget.”
“In addition, there is nothing to encourage our Māori members in this Budget. How is this going to increase Māori engagement in the tertiary sector?”
“Tertiary staff wellbeing is being harmed by continued underfunding. This means a reduction in the quality of education and the support we can give our learners.”
NZUSA National President Andrew Lessells says that “a real-terms cut in tertiary funding will have a huge impact on students. Staff conditions of work are students’ conditions of learning, and this Budget will mean more staff burnout, poorer support for students, and larger class sizes. If the Government truly values quality tertiary education, they need to fund it.”
“Students themselves are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis. A one-off, tokenistic $350 band aid won’t fix the broken student allowance system and is yet another example of the Government claiming to care about wellbeing while presenting us with an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.”
“We need a universal student allowance to make sure that we can afford to live while studying and we need a well-funded tertiary sector to make sure that the education we’re engaging in is actually up to scratch.”