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May 14, 2007 | by  | in News |
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Cullen on campus to announce more university funding

Salient confused by VC’s ‘tree’ metaphor

The Government last week announced an extra $129 million in university funding to be delivered over four years, as part of this Thursday’s Budget announcements.

The funding includes $40 million over four years “to support sector change in key areas such as further differentiation and collaboration, increased achievement of under-represented groups, and an ongoing focus on high quality teaching and research to drive economic growth” and $89 million “specifically for the University Tripartite Forum to explore and create opportunities to increase the competitiveness of New Zealand universities, through recruitment and retention strategies in an international labour market”.

Minister of Finance and Tertiary Education Dr Michael Cullen made the announcement at Victoria University last week on the new funding, and Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh said Victoria welcomes the extra funding.

“It’s pleasing to see a growing acceptance by government both of the need for a quality system and that it carries a price.

“The Minister won’t be surprised to hear that we still think the full price is higher, but we’re pleased to acknowledge what he’s done so far and his willingness to engage with us on this matter in the future.”

Walsh continued: “Minister, you’ll notice that the current system has focused on the trees and lost sight of the woods…We both know the folly of knocking anywhere near the trees, especially when you’ve got a wood on your hands, so I hope that the new system you’re putting in place will allow us to aim at the flag of quality. I’m tempted to this metaphor further.”

The Association of University Staff and New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) also welcomed the extra funding, but NZUSA is calling on the government to include more funding “student support issues” in its Budget.

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With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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