16 August 2001
Attention: Education Reporters
Let’s have more of it say university staff!
Associate Minister of Education, Steve Maharey’s disclosure in Parliament today, that additional money recently provided
to the public tertiary education system was money freed by the funding moratorium for private training establishments,
has been welcomed by university staff.
Association of University Staff [AUS] National President, Neville Blampied, said in Christchurch today that, “We see
this as a positive step and hope that it signals further Government commitment to rebuilding New Zealand’s public
tertiary system as its first priority”.
“Contrary to ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman’s statement that this is against trends in most OECD countries, most countries we
compare ourselves with are investing heavily in public tertiary education and in particular, university education.
Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland, for example - are all ahead of New Zealand in the
priority they give to a well-resourced public tertiary education system. These countries have recognised that it is the
university sector which makes the most critical contribution to knowledge and innovation” said Neville Blampied.
“A funding crisis is destroying New Zealand’s university system. Cuts in essential services such as libraries, run-down
facilities, reductions in teaching contact, cuts in research activity, unacceptable student:staff ratios, and pay
increases for staff that are perpetually below inflation rates have been endured for years now. Meantime, public
subsidies to private tertiary providers have increased by over 300% since 1999.”
Neville Blampied continued, “The funding crisis is still waiting to be seriously addressed by Government and none of the
new money will be available until after 1 July 2002. Nevertheless, unlike ACT’s Dr Newman, we welcome the redirection of
public funds from private training establishments back to the public sector.
Let’s have more of it!”
Neville Blampied, National President, 03 364 2199, 021 680 475
Margaret Ledgerton, Policy Analyst, 04 915 6695