Minister’s bizarre Saudi sales pitchPublish By NZweek News Staff Updated 21/04/2012 1:26 pm in NZ News / no comments
Tertiary Education Union
20 April 2012
Minister’s bizarre Saudi sales pitch
The Minister of tertiary education, skills and employment seems to have lost his marketing mojo, says TEU national president Dr Sandra Grey. Yesterday Mr Joyce gave a speech in Saudi Arabia encouraging students to come and study here at the same time as admitting our universities face on-going staff shortages.
“Astonishingly Mr Joyce then said the solution to this problem was using broadband to beam overseas lecturers into New Zealand lecture theatres.”
“He is effectively telling Saudi students to fly 17 hours to New Zealand to sit in a lecture theatre and watch an academic on television – an academic who might well be Saudi.”
“Mr Joyce has a reputation for being the man who sells the government’s vision and agenda to voters. However, in this speech he seems to have lost track of what people want from tertiary education.”
“He cannot paper over staff shortages and funding cuts with ultra-fast broadband and remote learning. International and domestic students pay large amounts of money expecting face-to-face contact and human interaction with their lecturers and tutors. If New Zealand wants to remain an attractive place to study for international, and domestic students, it needs to invest in training and recruiting new academics to cover the impending skills shortage,” said Dr Grey.