The Government proposes to merge all of New Zealand's Institutes of Technologies and Polytechnics into one. This includes the Southern Institute of Technology and if approved it will affect the whole Southland community.
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Why we disagree with this proposal
SIT should not be included in the proposal for the merger because it doesn't fit into any of the major points that the Education Minister has outlined. Read More
The local community contributed over $7.25M to assist with the establishment of the Zero Fees Scheme.
Only approximately 13 % of SIT2LRN students access loans and allowances therefore cost effective for the Government.
SIT makes financial contributions of approximately $300,000 every year to Southland community arts, cultural and sports events.
94% of SIT students and graduates are satisfied with SIT and their programme of study.
97% of SIT graduates surveyed (51% response rate) are in employment or further study.
Southland has low unemployment, an older working population with identified skills shortages and has a real need for international students and their families.
Southland needs to be able to do its own recruiting for international students to provide more graduates for industries and businesses.
We are concerned that:
- Institutes will lose their autonomy and their ability to make decisions – this is at the heart of what has made SIT successful. The Minister has given no indication as to the proposed level of decision making, or it’s delegation on essential issues such as programme delivery, budgets and innovation;
- There will be a loss of responsiveness to the needs of the local communities. SIT want to continue to serve the local needs of the people, industries and businesses of Southland;
- The financial impact of the changes will be problematic. We don’t yet have full confirmation of what will happen to the assets we have accumulated, including money raised by you the Southland community. We don’t know if we will be penalised in the future for running a surplus with money leaving the community or by getting an unequal share from the start;
- The Southland regional development strategy will be undermined as we need 10,000 new people living in Southland by 2025 with approximately half of these coming from SITs international students’ recruitment - a process we may no longer have any power over. Southland needs both domestic and international students and their families to come to Southland to help provide more graduates for local industries and businesses to grow.
- There is not enough detail on how the proposals would work, and therefore there are significant risks for the whole sector and SIT in particular.