Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cause and effect

According to Stuff this morning:

New Zealand's universities are continuing to lose ground against their international rivals, according to the latest worldwide rankings.

Those bloody academics, eh? Useless pricks. Well, no, not really, according to Uni of Auckland's VC:

"as QS notes, New Zealand universities are continuing to lose ground internationally due to the relatively low level of investment in the sector".

"We have a university system with the lowest tuition fees in the Western world, and also with the lowest investment per student," he said.

"We have predicted for some time that the New Zealand universities would be overtaken by better-funded systems elsewhere in the world and now we see that happening."

He's right, of course - I've quoted him when I've blogged about this before. Under Labour, money was directed away from the expensive business of running universities and put instead into subsidising students. This had favourable electoral results for Labour, as students and their parents make up a lot of voters, but it had extremely unfavourable results for universities: ie, it simultaneously increased the number of students enrolling, lowered the quality of the intake, and reduced the ability of the universities to educate them and carry out research. The effects of that are now showing up in our international ranking.

Bloody Labour. Good job we elected a National govt to replace them, eh? Er, no. Not good at all - in fact, they're worse. National have not only kept all the bad features of university funding that Labour put in place, ie we continue to subsidise students' cars, gadgets and trips to the pub rather than their education, but on top of that Stephen Joyce has decided to measure university performance based on how well they act as diploma mills aimed at job training. This also is likely to cause a steady deterioration in our international ranking.

Must be coming up to time for another move overseas.


Anonymous said...

Yep - the new funding formula is close-coupled to the percentage of students "completing" a course, study programme or "progressing" to higher levels of study.

And of course everything is being dumbed down to ensure these metrics are achieved.

Another clever wheeze in play by tertiary "top managers" is to report low-ball results on these metrics deliberately for 2010 and 2011 so they can then show dramatic "improvements" in their respective organisations in 2012 and 2013 - and thus claim huge performance bonuses for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Increase the funding now. Margaret Mutu is in dire need of another Armani suit.

JC said...

Got to agree with you here Milt. The OECD has seen fit to make similar statements.. especially how well supported our students are.

However, if you want students to do a little work to help fund their (increased)fees.. you better improve the jobs situation first.


gravedodger said...

We occasionally disagree philosophically Milt, well often if the interests of accuracy are to be acknowledged but here you have my total agreement.
If an entrepreneurial young person wants a small business, say a fast food franchise or a dairy they have to save some money, prove to a lender that they have a pinch of knowledge and ability then "borrow" almost all they need to have a go by way of a secured loan usually with a guarantor.
Their fellow citizen wants to be a Dr, lawyer Accountant or whatever and they think the world owes them the necessary training and opportunity with minimal funding from them and most of the cost will be funded by way of a "student loan" that has a high probability of never being paid back and a massive subsidy from the taxpayer.

It is clear that in a headlong rush to "grow" tertiary achievement among the young we have sacrificed levels of what I label academic pursuits with alternatives that have a political or social focus and that has led to lowering standards of intellectual honesty and integrity.
Yes our costs of study are low by international comparisons and to verify that fact just compare what an international student can be required to stump up with even for attending a High school.

When the cost of something is cheap due to using SOEMs, some one else's money, then respect and value for the product is diminished.

Redbaiter said...

What crap. If NZ Universities had a quality product they would attract custom.

They don't and perhaps parents worldwide and in NZ are just sick of seeing their offspring come out of those Orwellian institutions soaked in cultural Marxist propaganda as brainwashed left wing morons like you Milt.

They pay for education not indoctrination.

Paulus said...

Mugabe Mutu will help get Auckland Uni up the scales. No white motherf....

Psycho Milt said...

As usual, it's Redbaiter's in-depth knowledge of the subject and profound insights into it that makes his comment stand out.

Anonymous said...

All of which leads to the conclusion that the best universities are private universities whose funding is free of the government teat.