The Government is stripping polytechs of their funding because it wants to
privatise tertiary education, Labour says.
Polytechs around the country are cutting staff and courses because their
funding has been cut since Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce put $38
million of their allocation up for tender.
It was the first time private providers had been able to apply for government
funds and the money was allocated to 17 institutions.
Mr Joyce says funding was opened up because many polytechs didn't perform
well, with completion rates of just 50 per cent.
Labour's tertiary education spokesman, Grant Robertson, says there's a place
for private training establishments in the sector but not at the expense of
"His agenda is an ideological one - to put as much of the tertiary sector
into private hands as possible," he said.
"Some polytechs are fighting for their very existence, these institutions can
play a critical role re-training and developing a skilled workforce and Steven
Joyce's approach puts this at risk."
The Eastern Institute of Technology said this week it was planning to axe
courses and staff next year.
The Tertiary Education Union says the equivalent of 13 full-time staff at the
Napier and Gisborne campuses would lose their jobs.
The polytech has lost more than $2 million in revenue following the
government's decision to make part of its funding for lower level tertiary
UCOL, which has campuses in Palmerston North and Whanganui, announced last
month it was planning to cut staff and course as a result of funding