Two sides to cuts at Aoraki

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014

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The Tertiary Education Union (TEU) has hit out at budget cuts to Aoraki Polytechnic, but the polytech says today's funding reflects reality.

The TEU says since 2010, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce and the Government have made severe funding cuts to regional polytechnics.

Aoraki Polytechnic has lost $12 million of government funding, a 56 per cent cut since 2010, says TEU's Aoraki branch president, Carol Soal. "The minister has taken an axe to regional polytechnics all around New Zealand. Local students are losing opportunities, and local staff are losing jobs."

Aoraki chief executive Alex Cabrera said the polytech's situation was complex. "I do not believe the Government has taken money away from us. We haven't been able to meet our EFTS (equivalent full time students) targets for the last couple of years."

The polytech's funding is determined by its student numbers.

"There are reasons for the drop in students. The economy is doing very well. We need to focus on more flexible delivery options for people working fulltime.

"My view is Aoraki is now the right size for the region."

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- The Timaru Herald

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