Govt's commitment to regional polytechs questioned

Following the announcement of a merger between the Eastern Institute of Technology and Tairawhiti Polytechnic, Labour is calling on the Government to support regional polytechnics.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce announced the merger yesterday saying the Government would spend $7.5 million to support it.

He said the merger, from January 1, would create one of the largest tertiary institutions in the country and was an exciting opportunity for the East Coast.

But Labour MP Grant Robertson said $60m cuts to regional polytechs funding over the next three years were putting pressure on a number of institutions.

"We need polytechnics in regional areas for the health of those regions and government needs to provide additional support to make that happen."

Tairawhiti Polytech has struggled to maintain financial viability over the last decade.

Cabinet accepted Mr Joyce's proposal to merge the two institutes. The Governor General's agreement is now needed to disestablish Tairawhiti Polytechnic.




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