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A new Government policy cutting the enrolment-based funding threshold has has made life more difficult for tertiary education institutions, some of which are facing higher repayment rates of funding money.
Under the current system, education providers do not have to repay funding if they fall within three per cent of their target number of enrolments. The Government’s cuts reduce this threshold to one per cent.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce believes the new margin of error is reasonable, and does not think the changes will have any effect on jobs.
“It’s just trying to get absolute value, and wasting $35 million a year on a funded provision which is not being used is a bit tough to get taxpayers to accept”, he said.
Universities, polytechnics, wananga and private tertiary institutions are all affected by the change, which Tertiary Education Union president Lesley Francey sees as sly.
“[It’s a] cynical attempt by the Government to slash funding”, said Francey.