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May 7, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Vic adjusts for new funding scheme

Victoria University has been criticised by the Association of University Staff (AUS) for “jumping the gun” in its response to the government’s new tertiary funding system.

The new funding scheme replaces the current Equivalent Full-Time Students (EFTS) model, described by critics as a “bums on seats” system.

A range of initiatives was outlined by Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh last week at a forum of senior and administrative managers, described by the University as “pro-active steps” to put Victoria on a “sound foot” to “deal” with the recently announced funding scheme.

To succeed in this new environment, said Walsh, it was essential that the University made significant changes to its administrative, academic and financial processes. These changes include implementation of a new budget model and reviews of student administration services, in addition to workload and contract reviews for staff. He emphasised, however, that the new funding system was “not the only important issue we are dealing with.”

Since last December, Walsh explains, senior management had been working on measures to accommodate the University’s low surplus, in order to allow investment in new and upgraded facilities for students and staff.

“We would have been doing these things regardless of the new funding system,” Walsh says.

Under the EFTS system, universities receive funding on the basis of enrolment numbers, which according to AUS President Nigel Haworth has resulted in a “debilitating race for students.”

“The new model removes the competition for students and, with its emphasis on quality provision in a more stable environment, will be better for New Zealand.”


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