Friday, May 14, 2010

Washing his hands

Yesterday, Victoria University of Wellington closed its doors to semester two undergraduates due to lack of funding. Today, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce is trying to wash his hands of the matter and denying that the government has anything to do with the decision.


The reason VUW has had to do this is because the government won't fund further enrolments. It is that simple. The TEC has had an enrolment cap in place for some time, but this was based on projections made long before the recession, and it has always been flexible. In the face of unanticipated skyrocketing demand - people taking the opportunity to upskill themselves when jobs were scarce - it was expected that it would be relaxed. Instead, National has turned it into a straitjacket. The result is that people are being denied tertiary education. This is the government's fault, and no amount of wiggling can change that.