INDEPENDENT NEWS

AUS sees positive developments from the Budget

Published: Thu 23 May 2002 03:57 PM


The Association of University Staff [AUS] hopes that the 2002-3 Budget is a turning point for tertiary education in New Zealand.
‘The mechanism for funding will be profoundly changed by the new formula-based system to begin in 2004’ said AUS National President, Dr Grant Duncan. ‘While the quantity of new money to be invested in the sector for 2003 is not great, we are starting to see some of the results of a lengthy reform process. The future developments for university funding revealed in this Budget will assist universities and their staff to develop more fully their capabilities and to contribute their best to our society.’
‘There is now a recognition of the positive role that universities have in economic and social development.’
Highlights include:
* The emphasis to be placed on quality and research productivity – not just on student numbers – in determining future funding levels
* Regulations will enable Government to prescribe ‘fees maxima’, and will take effect from the 2004 academic year.
*A rolling triennium approach to funding will be introduced.
*A funding category review will be undertaken, to ensure that funding is aligned with strategic priorities
*The shift in priority to public institutions for public funds
Dr Duncan cautioned, however, that, ‘There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the details of the proposed funding formula, and AUS looks forward to contributing constructively to its development.
‘Whatever good ideas this Budget may introduce,’ Dr Duncan added, ‘the universities will not be able to deliver their best without significantly increased reinvestment. If the Government can muster the resources and the foresight to deliver substantial new funding to the sector, then it will have real social, cultural and economic pay-offs in the future.’
Contact for Dr Grant Duncan : 021 375 661

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