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UNZ welcomes Government’s plans to address university and science system challenges

Universities New Zealand – Te Pokāi Tara welcomes the Government’s announcement that two advisory groups will oversee an exploration of the challenges and opportunities facing both our universities and our science system.

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Chair of the New Zealand Vice Chancellor’s Committee and Vice Chancellor of the University of Canterbury says, “This work is urgently needed. Our universities are in serious financial difficulty and we are at real risk of seeing a real decline in the quality and range of both our teaching and our research.”

The financial crisis facing the university sector is well known. Since 2019 overall funding has only increased by 8% during a time when inflation was 21%. Research funding has not increased at all since 2018.

Chris Welan, CE of UNZ says, “We welcome today’s announcement. Our universities and their role in the wider science system are the key to navigating many of the challenges New Zealand will face in the coming decades. We just need the support to unlock that value. This work offers a chance to explore how universities can deliver much greater value with different funding settings and investment levels.”

“For advice on the university system to be effective it will be important to satisfy four key principles: to protect the core mission of universities, provide financial sustainability, preserve core capability, and remain simple, predictable, and stable.”

 

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