Minister of Education Chris Hipkins’ has today revealed that our export education sector could take yet another hit with suggested closures and mergers on the way for our polytechs and ITP’s, Nationals associate spokesperson for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Simeon Brown says.
“Not only will this sector suffer from the Government’s proposed changes to post-study work rights but today it has been revealed that the review of the sector could result in the merging or closure of any number of these institutions,” Mr Brown says.
“These ITP’s and polytechs are a huge part of the communities that they are based in and the potential closures should not be taken lightly. This will have a huge impact on our regions where ITP’s are critical to the local skill requirements.
“This is also yet another hit on our export education sector at a time where we are already becoming a less attractive place to study as a result of the Government’s other changes.
“The changes the Government is making around post study work rights will also bring fewer people into the country to help fill shortages in our regions. The visa changes could also cost New Zealand 1,000 jobs and up to $1.4 billion. This is at a time where the economy is starting to cool and unemployment has started to rise.
“Manukau Institute of Technology has warned the Government that the proposed visa changes put their institution at risk of becoming financially unviable. This may in turn give the Government cause to close or merge the institution.
“The Government simply can’t gut New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner through its visa changes and then use their review as an excuse to merge or close these institutions.
“This is yet another part of our economy being undermined by a Government which is refusing to realise the real impact its bad decisions and anti-growth policies are having on New Zealand’s economy. This will affect our businesses and mean fewer jobs and opportunities for New Zealanders.
“Ministers must reconsider these changes immediately and ensure that the outcome of the review is not predetermined by the economic uncertainty that they are creating.”