Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has encouraged the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) to look at options for developing a network of South Island Polytechnics.
The CPIT Council notice of meeting held in June noted that the Minister “encourages CPIT to explore options for creating a stronger South Island ITP (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics) network, saying that the Minister’s office be kept informed of developments.”
There are several polytechnics and private training establishments competing amongst themselves for the same students in some South Island cities.
Polytechnics are facing increasingly difficult times and increasing competition from private training enterprises as the result of the government allowing more public funding to go to the private sector.
Tertiary Education Union (TEU) National President Sandra Grey said that the Union supported polytechnics collaborating and rationalising their services but only through a planned approach and not as a kneejerk reaction to less funding.
“It is counterproductive to encourage this rationalisation in an environment that lacks control of out-of-region provision and rewards polytechnics for investing their scarce resources in management, marketing, and promotion,” she said.