More young people have npw gone to more tertiary institutions than perhaps at any time in this country's short history, yet fewer and fewer of them are educated. This is not an accident. Like Soviet production of tractors, there are lots of figures showing an awful lot of production, but none of the tractors work. Meanwhile the number of people who can actually think on their feet -- actually do things -- must surely be at an all-time low.
Cullen proposes nothing that will change this. His Government will no longer fund on a bums-on-seats basis as per the present de facto 'voucher' system; they will instead
...direct the Government's $2 billion annual funding of the sector towards areas important to New Zealand's economic and social development... The new funding systems, which will be given to the sector for consultation, are likely to see a divide created between universities and polytechnics, private providers, wananga and colleges of education. The Government wants to establish different funding streams for the different pathways through the tertiary sector. The proposals are part of its tertiary strategy, which puts quality teaching, learning and research at the top of the priority list. But it is also likely to signal potential winners and losers in the battle for a share of the annual funding pot.In other words, the institutes will lobby the Government's bureaucrats as to where the money will go, and those bureaucrats will decide what 'quality' looks like -- and you can be sure anything socio-economically and politically correct will give you plenty of ticks in the old 'quality' box. Thus, we'll go from oversupplying morons as we have been doing to politicising delivery as we will be doing -- both problems that are intrinsic to government provision of education. Where are the cries for academic freedom now? And where 'quality' when judged by a bureaucracy? If we had our daily bread supplied this way there's be an abundance of 'delivery systems,' an effusion of red tape -- but very little bread. And just think how much more important are the minds of young New Zealand students than is your slice of toast in the morning. As the Spitting Llama summarises:
When they began bulk-funding for the number of students they moved away from the principle of performance. Call it excellence, if you will, which Universities have always been about. Instead they taxed and applied bulk-funding in a Socialist universal solvent which makes no distinction in skill, ability or suitability but simply decrees degree. And now? When they have a chance to fix their fuck up? They're giving it to the industry for consultation. That's a bit like asking the prisoners when they should be paroled.The Spitting Llama isn't the only one appalled that they're still sticking with a taxpayer-paid system that "decrees degrees" and results in too few real thinkers and an oversupply of undereducated earnestness -- earnestness, as PJ O'Rourke suggested, just being stupidity sent to college. You should hear what he says about the sort of stupidity that gets sent to Parliament, so much of it in evidence here.
LINKS: Aint got no edukashun - Spitting Llama
Wananga, waste, and voucher failure - Peter Cresswell
Separation of state and school - Not PC