New Zealand
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Staff And Students Rally As Victoria Announces 230 Job Losses

Victoria University’s Hunter Lawn hosted a passionate protest this morning, in the wake of an announcement from Vice Chancellor Nic Smith that 230 jobs are set to be cut.

Staff have been anxiously waiting to find out who would be targeted by cuts that were foreshadowed a month ago. Today’s announcement confirmed that the cuts target areas such as languages, secondary school teaching, tourism, management, geophysics and physical geography. Other programmes are merging, and 39 general (non-academic) roles are targeted within the cuts.

Speaking to the staff and students rallying to save their jobs this morning, Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union Tumu Whakarae | National President Dr Julie Douglas said “it is so short-sighted to diminish staff, programmes and institutions at a time when our economy is in desperate need of trained educated workers in every industry.”

“This is so much more than just about jobs today – we are talking about a sector in crisis and on the line is the future of tertiary education being able to deliver what we need as a society into the future, the workforce we need in the future and the needs of a decent society to have educated citizens.”

“Future generations of young kiwis depend on a robust university sector to be there for them – to be able to follow their passions.”

After the rally, Dr Douglas called out the government and Minister of Education Jan Tinetti for not acting.

“They don’t even need to commit money right away, the debt ceiling for universities could be raised and this would provide a short-term solution that would then allow the breathing space to come up with something more sustainable.”

“It’s time to get off the fence. To not act now is to not support tertiary education.”

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