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October 4, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Universities Maintain Financial Requirements, Government Doesn’t Keep Up

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has revealed financial data that shows government funding has not adapted to an increase in costs and demand for places at universities and tertiary institutions around New Zealand.

Despite government funding failing to cover both an increase in costs and demand for places, universities and other tertiary institutions around the country have managed to stay above TEC guidelines that require them to return a surplus of three per cent.

“TEC guidelines require universities to return a surplus of 3 per cent and this is what we’ve delivered, despite the decrease in total government funding during this period,” says Derek McCormack, Chair of Universities New Zealand–Te Pōkai Tara.

McCormack believes the government was being unrealistic and unappreciative of the annual increase in costs for universities and the investment that ensues.

“While we appreciate that the government’s budget is limited, annual increases in funding for our universities need to keep pace with the real increases in costs that we face.

“Universities are uniquely placed to contribute to a better future for New Zealand. We are committed to continuing to work in partnership with the government to achieve these goals.”

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce believes universities are “generally in strong financial positions and are well placed for future challenges and growth”.

Funding shortages in the tertiary sector have become particularly apparent this year.

In May, Victoria University had to turn away students as it closed undergraduate admissions for the rest of the year after student numbers were predicted to be 110 per cent of the cap funded by the TEC.

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