9 Jul 2009

Education conference looks to address funding issues

10:30 am on 9 July 2009

A conference for Pasifika people in Tertiary Education in New Zealand is hoping to address funding restrictions to its sector.

Up to 16 tertiary bodies, including Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Auckland University of Technology and Victoria University, are at the two-day conference.

The Association of Pasifika Staff in Tertiary Education conference, "Ki Mua" or "Look Forward", plans to look at funding and political issues, as well as addressing the retention of Pasifika students in tertiary education.

But, the chairperson of the association, Pale Sauni, says he thinks the recession and a National-led government have already heavily impacted on tertiary education for Pasifika students and education providers.

"The tightening up now has resulted in a number of our Pacific positions being disestablished in a number of tertiary institutions. Secondly, I think there is less funding to support Pacific development in terms of scholarships and in terms of providing staff for academic support and pastoral care."