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Selling out our education

Written By: - Date published: 1:54 pm, March 19th, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: education, national, Privatisation, schools - Tags: ,

Connect these dots. One:

Foreign students turned off by NZ

Labour blames dodgy education providers and agents for drop in fee-paying customers from abroad.

Immigration “hiccups”, dodgy education providers and unscrupulous student agents are damaging New Zealand’s export education reputation, says Labour export education spokesman Raymond Huo. Mr Huo said fewer international students were choosing to study here because New Zealand had an image as being a destination for “ghetto education”. …

The annual Migration Trends and Outlook, released last Friday, reported a 7 per cent drop in international student approvals to 68,980 – the lowest since 2008. The number of first-time student visa approvals had also dropped about 25 per cent since 2009. …

Mr Huo said overseas agents promoting student visas for other immigration purposes and Immigration’s mistake in approving hundreds of Chinese applicants with fraudulent documents last year had given New Zealand a bad name.

“A number of private training establishments have abused their naming rights and have created a credibility issue for New Zealand’s export education system with the term ghetto education being used in China and other countries to describe the state of facilities here.”

Profit-driven private sector cowboys are damaging the reputation of our education system. Which brings us to – Two:

New opportunities for foreign corporates to profit from kids

The National/Act Government has just laid out the welcome mat for large foreign owned corporations to receive huge tax payer subsidies to run profit-making schools in New Zealand, with potential to take over large parts of the education system in the future, the Green Party said today.

Two clarifications released this morning by the Governments’ tendering website GETS confirm that 100 per cent foreign owned corporations can apply to run charter schools immediately, and promises more opportunities for them to set up taxpayer-funded corporate schools in the future.

“New Zealand has one of the best public school systems in the world and we will protect the right of every kiwi child to a high quality, free public education at their local school,” Green Party Co-leader and education spokesperson Metiria Turei said.

“New Zealanders will be shocked to learn that large entirely foreign owned corporates have been invited to apply for significant taxpayer subsidies to expand into our public education system, not just now but in the future.

“Funding agreements already published show the taxpayer could pay more than $1 million to establish a charter school, and then much more than $1 million each year to run them.

“This is privatisation of our education system at its most extreme. …

Yeah this is going to end well.


(With all due respect to honest and good private sector institutions of course. Also, disclosure, the author works for a boring old public sector university.)

35 comments on “Selling out our education”

  1. infused 1

    Labour would blame the moon if they could.

    ‘the lowest since 2008′

    Wonder why that rings a bell… recession? A recession we are still in? Who would have thought…

    As for the second point, this already happens. Funny enough, they are going under…

    • r0b 1.1

      ‘the lowest since 2008′ Wonder why that rings a bell… recession?

      We were out of recession in 2009, before even National’s first budget.

      A recession we are still in? Who would have thought…

      Ahh – no we’re not, though thanks to the Nats’ bungling it has been a stunted and slow recovery.

      Sorry to intrude with mere facts, but there it is.

      • infused 1.1.1

        yeah, maybe not technically. You know what I’m saying.

        • felixviper 1.1.1.1

          Yeah that’s kinda the thing though infused. We all know what you’re saying and we know it’s not true.

    • Pete 1.2

      The high dollar is a problem. International tuition fees at Cambridge, widely regarded as the best university in the world, for humanities are 13,662 pounds p.a.($NZD24,448).

      International tuition fees at the University of Auckland for a BA programme are $NZ24,480. So it’s cheaper to go to Cambridge. Really a no-brainer, too.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1

        Cambridge for humanities ?

        Surely you mean Oxford. Cambridge is the first choice for science and engineering

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          History degree from Cambridge is still going to outclass one from Auckland University.

          • Tim 1.2.1.1.1

            Christ CV…. I thought you might have been the exception that proved the rule.
            Whilst I agree with the observation – think a little more in a global sense.

            I seem to be the commenter in here that stymies any further comment. Once I make a comment – (and look back thru; history) fuck all else happens.

            Though I might be banned – some of you need a kick up the !@#%.

            The lack of engagement in issues that might contribute to what the right see as a new ‘World Order” or whatever/however you want to couch it is fucking astonishing!

            Phoebe Fletcher’s comment on The Daily Blog for eg, or in here on edge-occashun.

            Sometimes it’s like a ‘left-ISH’ commenting on a LEFT – or Reisling Socialists pouring scorn on those that have a preference for Chardonnay.
            (Btw – cheap deals going at New World just atm).

            I was hoping for something more substantial. Instead, I probably need to take a break from this site and go piss in the wind somewhere

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    Another chance going begging for some bright spark.

    Who gets to announce that any such schools will be returned to their rightful owners without compensation, by lunchtime, the day after the next election?

    Meteria? Hone? Winston?

  3. yeshe 3

    In Open Mike, I posted from the Herald this morning that private sector school companies who are subsidised yet fold will be permitted to keep the funding and/or land and buildings the subsidies have paid for .. this looks even worse ! How do we stop this avarice ?

    yeshe 8

    19 March 2013 at 9:17 am

    Is this news about charter schools .. it is to me !! Herald this morning on Ombudsman ordering Banks to release funding papers .. but this at the very end has my blood boiling this morning … clearly, this is why Gnats are pushing so hard ..

    “Charter schools would get money for set up costs and property funding that their private-sector backers would be able to keep if a school folded.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10872032

    Hard to believe this can be true.

  4. geoff 5

    I think this is a relatively minor issue compared with the much larger structural rort in our education system which is that so many young people have to pay for years of expensive tertiary education just to be able to apply for anything above a McJob.
    When you exam how badly the deck is stacked against younger people you begin to wonder why they bother engaging with society at all.

    • Scintilla 5.1

      “When you exam how badly the deck is stacked against younger people you begin to wonder why they bother engaging with society at all.”

      Quite. I took the chance recently to ask a very experienced Youth Aid Officer what his game-changer would be with regards to our troubled youth. “Drop the school leaving age to 15 – with JOBS to go to.”

      Indeed.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        I took the chance recently to ask a very experienced Youth Aid Officer what his game-changer would be with regards to our troubled youth. “Drop the school leaving age to 15 – with JOBS to go to.”

        Great idea, the solution of the past from someone with no imagination.

        /sarc

    • ghostrider888 5.2

      spoke with a new grad nursing student y.day; “no jobs for new grads in the province; experience first please”; corroborated by her peer’ “just nothing here” (nursing grad working as a receptionist, bored to tears, such a lovely young thing as well…oh…)

  5. Scintilla 6

    Who wants to beam content straight to student laptops everywhere? Why, Rupert Murdoch of course. Check out the Murdoch-Joel Klein cabal.

    “At the end of summer 2010, Murdoch formally hired Klein for $2m (£1.3m) a year, plus a $1m signing bonus, to launch what he called a “revolutionary, and profitable, education division”. Murdoch bought Wireless Generation, a US educational technology firm, for $360m, and gave it to Klein to run. Murdoch’s vision was that he would digitise the world’s so far unexploited classrooms. He told investors: “We see a $500bn sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs.” He envisaged some of News Corporation’s large library of media content being beamed to pupils’ terminals.”

    Murdoch Klein

    Murdoch already owns HarperCollins, big-time publishers of educational texts.

    They also sell management software to US schools that gives them access to private student information.
    truth about education

  6. johnm 7

    Stupid Kiwis, dumbed down by the garbage media see the assault on our education as another effort to give their stupid assholes choice.
    But Meister Market Pimp Yankee is out to destroy one of the institutional foundations of our society.
    But stupid self absorbed kiwis with their electronic gadgets couldn’t care less. I have given up on this arsehole place. Go F*ck yourselves, though it’s mainly our young folk getting screwed.

    • ropata 7.1

      keep the underclass down, disengaged, drunk and ill-informed
      then they won’t bother to vote for a party tohat might change things

      it’s a winning strategy for “yankee” Key, MP for Hawaii.

      • tricledrown 7.1.1

        Rope production line education the opposite of what NZ needs churning out brian dead fuckwits I suppose the Nactional govt wants everybody to be in their own likeness!
        Socold sucksessful Charter schools are being found to be worse than Nactionals Banks would have us believe!
        while Charter school pupils are trained to pass exams in high numbers!
        But a very big butt When these students front up to university they flunk out in bigger Numbers than kids that come from state schools!

  7. happynz 8

    As a former employee of a private tertiary enterprise (PTE) I have seen the book fiddling and other dodgy practices that ran rampant throughout the industry. So much of export education was about – and apparently still is – bums on seats, bullshit visa games with phony attendance records submitted to immigration, false promises of legitimate qualifications, and so on. There surely must be quality PTEs out there, but from my experience working in the industry in both Auckland and Christchurch, I couldn’t in good faith recommend that parents part with their money to send their student off to ‘study’ at a NZ PTE. Better they enrol in a public university or polytech.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Its the money, a public tertiary institution is way dearer for a full course. The others offer short and cheap courses that are used instead of a working visa or a stepping stone to a proper tertiary course.
      Then their is the rorts to get residency once you have a qualification.

      • happynz 8.1.1

        One of the selling points of many of the PTEs (almost all of them offering level 6 or level 7 in business management courses of some kind) is that with a one or two year diploma in business the student can more easily get permanent residence (PR). With that lovely blue PR sticker in the passport they can then attend university at far reduced rates compared to the international student fees. What I saw were students getting passes for courses they didn’t attend and credit for papers that have google as the only cited source. The course instructors were loathe to pass the students, but pressure from PTE management would see the papers passed anyway.

        NZQA did make visits to assess these ‘schools’, but the assessments were based on the PTEs’ self-assessment; something along the lines of…

        NZQA: “Everything is as it should be?”

        PTE: “Yes, of course. Care for another biscuit?”

  8. ghostrider888 9

    article on the tele news; schools in a US state have gone to longer school days (improved grades apparently)

  9. Tim 10

    At Last!!! People are beginning to actually think about this whole issue and the connection between the whole PTE situation and immigration generally. I find it interesting that when immigration problems have been raised in the past, out comes the ‘bloody foreigners taking all our jobs’ routine. That line sails well amongst BOTH the left and right – especially when there are fuck all jobs to be had!

    @happynz – so frikken true (re the rorts and fiddling), AND @ghostwhowalksnz.
    I’d ask people to consider how some PTEs are promoted overseas however: over promising then under-delivering.

    Before we buy into all the bloody foreign students stealing all our jobs routine….. consider how the impoverished family from overseas feels when they manage to scrape together, beg and borrow tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids here to one of the PTEs having been promised the world:
    the validity of the qualification, the elagitarian society – lacking in prejudice, and the promise of ‘work experience relevant to one’s qualification gained’, etc., etc.

    Its hard to understand quite how cleaning jobs, prostitution, waiting on tables for below minimum wage could be ‘work experience relevant to the qualification’ when the PTE qualification is to do with say Web Development, or Business Admin, or a host of other things those often impoverished families have paid a fortune for.

    Raymond Huo is correct – NZ’s reputation is being damaged AS IT SHOULD BE (just as Melbourne’s was after the series of assaults on Indian students a couple of years ago).
    I’ve tried to raise this sort of thing elsewhere and have been surprised to see the lack of interest and comment from others (including those from the left). It makes me somewhat ashamed to be a NZer.
    And now we have JK talking about Sth. American ‘tuneties’ – i.e. NZ edge-occasional stueshuns attracting Sth American students. Message to JK – despite what he hopes for, at least one Sth American country isn’t as bloody stupid as he is hoping – and they (countries within the continent) talk to each other!

    It’s a fucking disgrace, but having listened to last Sunday’s “Insight” documentary, we’ve a Munsta responsible that doesn’t see a problem and a Proim Munsta that doesn’t give a shit anyway as long as he can be credited with closing a deal.

  10. Rodel 11

    Banks and the ACT woman (can’t remember her name-she of no votes) restructuring our education system from within under the watchful but relaxed eye of Key reminds me of the charter wasp that lays its eggs inside a publicly owned caterpillar allowing its larvae to devour the caterpillar painfully from within.

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