Press Release: Te Hautū Kahurangi | New Zealand Tertiary Education Union(TEU) 

It’s great to see Budget commitments that will get more people into trades and vocational training and breathe life back into community education, says Michael Gilchrist, National President, Te Hautū Kahurangi. 

For over a decade TEU has been fighting for improved funding to allow for accessible publicly funded education in order to reach all communities. 

This is why TEU supports the increased long-term investment in trades and community education - as educational value is about more than economic recovery. 

“Budget2020 has signalled some hope that there will be reinvestment in tertiary education, recognising its value for our families and communities. But more will be needed” argues Gilchrist.

The tertiary sector has borne the brunt of chronic underfunding by successive governments for over a decade, often with no increase in Vote Tertiary Education. This year there is a modest increase for the entire sector of 1.6% and a strong additional spend on trades education, but it certainly doesn’t plug the overall funding gap which leads to course closures and students missing out.

“The government must move urgently on its promised new funding model” according to Gilchrist

Added to the long-term funding woes, the nation’s COVID-19 response has undercut the revenue raised from international students in our public tertiary institutions. 

Gilchrist says “Over the next few months we will be actively watching the impact of the loss of international students. We need the government to convene a national international students hui to address this issue. We cannot allow our public tertiary education institutions to again be reliant on revenue from fee paying international students.”

Staff in lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, students support services, and labs have together been working hard to ensure all students have ongoing access to tertiary education. But this Budget doesn’t plug the overall gap in tertiary education funding which would ensure that we can help New Zealanders have a brighter future. 

“It’s a start, but together we can do better.”


TEU President, Michael Gilchrist,  +64 27899 4256  

Communications Officer, Leigh Paterson, +64 21 112 6869