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The Tertiary Education Union recently released their 2016 State of the Sector Survey (“Education under Pressure”) which includes responses from 1006 staff members and suggests “a sector under pressure” with “staff coping as best they can to provide quality education in the face of increasing challenges.” Of particular concern are the statistics, reported by RNZ, that “63 per cent of 1006 respondents said they were under more pressure to pass students to meet government targets.” Do you believe the pressure to pass students undermines the quality of tertiary education?
Young Nats — Lower North Island
The National Party, and Young Nats, are dedicated to a high performing tertiary education sector that provides strong outcomes for learners and that tertiary providers are providing high quality education to students, while looking after their staff.
Under this National Government investment in the TEU sector has risen by 16.7% since 2008, and by 24% for the university sector specifically, despite tight economic and fiscal times for New Zealand. This government sees tertiary education as key to an innovative, dynamic, and developing economy that sees growing wages, higher standards of living, and greater returns for students.
With nearly 500,000 students in tertiary education across the country it is important the government gets it right, and under National we believe good outcomes are being delivered in the system with increased government investment and support across the board.
— Sam Stead
Greens at Vic
There has been a drop in tertiary students due to the high cost of student loans. With unaffordable housing in our major cities, young people cannot also afford to saddle themselves with huge loans to access what should be a right — tertiary education. However, universities need to keep enrolling students to keep government funding. The problem is that people without the entry qualifications are then let in, and these people are at risk of failing, and saddling themselves with unnecessary debt as well as wasting years of their life.
A Green policy that could go a way towards solving both of these problems is our initiative to divert student loan money towards savings for first home buyers. This would both decrease student loan debt and go a way towards reducing the difficulties of saving for deposit that young people have. We can deal with student loan debt and decreasing home ownership in one stroke.
— Elliot Crossan
Stressed and under pressure, teachers do not have the time to teach their students well. All throughout the education system our educators are being told to do more with less. In the meantime, students lose out on the education they deserve. The Tertiary Education Union is right to raise this as an issue, and students should support them. What harms our teachers harms our students. We are building up thousands in student debt. It is important that the university system retains its quality.
Tutors should have the time to be able to assess their students’ work critically, provide an honest mark, and aid them in improving. The root of this problem is the lack of proper government commitment to public education. Labour knows this, and is committed to providing three years post-secondary education free. A Labour-led government will listen to our educators and help, rather than hinder, them.