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May 26, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Gap between New Zealand and Australia continues to grow

The Australia Federal Budget released last week shows that New Zealand universities are lagging behind their Australian counterparts in both resources and academic pay.

According to the Budget, New Zealand academics earn 44 per cent less than Australian academics. Furthermore, the latest improvements to Australian universities include a new $11 billion Education Investment Fund and a $500 million Better Universities Renewal Fund.

Yet for New Zealand universities, the total New Zealand budget is around $4.4 billion, 42 per cent of which goes on student financial support.

The finding has promoted Roger Field, chair of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors Committee, to warn that the gap that has previously existed between Australia and New Zealand is rapidly turning into a chasm.

“Universities Australia, the equivalent body to the NZVCC, clearly has the ear of the Rudd Government with a message that further investment will grow Australian universities’ capacity to make effective contributions to the wealth and welfare of that nation,” he said.

“This is in sharp contrast to the situation here, where successive governments have run down the university system in terms of total funding.”

Additional reporting from Seonah Choi

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