OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Student Loans are Loans (Duh.)

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    All I know is that there are a lot of people spinning self-serving stories about how their disciple ought get a fuck load more cash......Fundamentally, this is nonsense.

    I may disagree with you about free markets, Keir, but on this, I agree with you. No matter what political system you're under, when you want a shitload of cash or major policy changes, there's an onus to provide better arguments, preferably arguments with some quantitative aspect, and some engagement with the criticisms leveled at them. Using one's own experience and position as a scientist to justify more science spending is like turkeys voting against Christmas.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I’m not prepared to give any particular weight to what a professor at Auckland University says in favour of giving much more funding to his university by f#*^king the rest over. Perhaps I might give it more credence if it was accompanied by proposals to disestablish all current Auckland University staff, and make them compete for positions there.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Using one’s own experience and position as a scientist to justify more science spending is like turkeys voting against Christmas.

    So we should only countenance the arguments of people who have no direct experience in the field in question? That’s an odd argument.

    Presumably, then, we should ignore anything teachers have to say about education policy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Presumably, then, we should ignore anything teachers have to say about education policy.

    Works for National....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5061 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Acolyte entertainment...

    All I know is that there are a lot of people spinning self-serving stories about how their disciple ought get a fuck load more cash.

    At last, we are back on thread and talking about paying students to learn, rather than charging them...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5061 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Presumably, then, we should ignore anything teachers have to say about education policy.

    Works for National....

    That's funny* because it's true.

    *sad

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Deborah,

    I’m not prepared to give any particular weight to what a professor at Auckland University says in favour of giving much more funding to his university by f#*^king the rest over

    I didn’t see the bit where he asked for more money. Could you point it out? Oh, he doesn’t ask for more government money? Yeah, that’s right.
    Fuck’s sake, people, read the article carefully before jumping in to attack things he doesn’t say.

    ETA:

    Perhaps I might give it more credence if it was accompanied by proposals to disestablish all current Auckland University staff, and make them compete for positions there.

    Given that he also wants to significantly increase ratios of academics to students, I don’t think he sees much place for a significant shrinking of the number of academics. Which you’d have known if you’d read the article carefully instead of leaping in to attack its suggestions.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Anyway, it's a great read:

    The Oatmeal on Tesla.

    I think you need SONAR to deal with U-Boats, not RADAR.

    Also, the observation that majority of the world of the world was still lit by candle power at the time isn't particularly remarkable. That was effectively the case for many years into the 20th century. It's still the case in much of the world today.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    He suggests that the University of Auckland be allowed to increase its fees. Then it could use fee setting to achieve the ends it wants. However, this needs to be linked to student funding. At present, student fees are about 75% government funded, and 25% student funded, mostly via loans. The way I read it, he doesn’t think that government funding per student should increase, but the extra fee cost should be met by students themselves. My assumption is that he intends that students would be able to borrow the increased fees via the student loans system. That’s a cost to government, because even though student loans are loans (duh), it still costs to provide them in the first place.

    I’d be more sympathetic to the idea of *all* universities being able to charge whatever fees they like, and government providing a certain amount of funding per student, which may well be significantly less, proportionally, than the 75% (or so) funding they provide at present. Government could also limit the amount that students can borrow for fees, to say 1/3 of the amount of government funding. Anything on top of that would have to be met upfront by the students. On other words, sure, remove the caps, but don’t expect government to come to the party by providing extra funding, either as fees subsidies or as student loans. Alonside this, develop a robust scholarships package, aimed at students coming to university from low decile schools.

    No he doesn’t see much place for a shrinking number of academics, at the University of Auckland. It’s student numbers that would shrink, at the University of Auckland. In order for numbers to shrink at the University of Auckland, they will have to go up elsewhere. It’s staff and students at other universities who will wear the cost of this plan.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • NBH,

    I thought one of the most interesting things about Tim Hazledine's argument was that he seems to have nicked it directly from Stuart Middleton at the Manukau Institute of Technology.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Deborah,

    No he doesn’t see much place for a shrinking number of academics, at the University of Auckland. It’s student numbers that would shrink, at the University of Auckland.

    The pesky public. Drastically reduce your old client base and suddenly "It's ideal . . . A few people have even thanked us for being here."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3559 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Using one's own experience and position as a scientist

    Please remember there are actual people in this discussion who fit that categorisation, and are understandably likely to take such statements as personal attacks. Not helpful.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Presumably, then, we should ignore anything teachers have to say about education policy.

    Sounds all too familiar.

    And it’s not just teachers either - I wonder if they think water cannons would be a 'worthy investment'?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to BenWilson,

    Using one’s own experience and position as a scientist to justify more science spending

    But surely we most need the views of people who actually work in a field to give us the benefit of their skills and experience?? You seem to assume that these brilliant and dedicated folk are somehow pulling a con. Why would that be the case? Don't you think it's possible that they want what we all want, for New Zealand to excel as a knowledge economy?

    Bart and Lucy, hats off to you for your patience and politeness in this debate.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to NBH,

    Thanks. Middleton answers Deborah's objection thus:

    In the late 1990s Lord Dearing posited that there was a quantum of population required to generate a world class university – I think it was about 4 million people. On that basis New Zealand could perhaps have reasonable aspirations to have one world class university, Australia five, the UK fifteen and so on. That seems about right.

    So if New Zealand is to have one world class university it can only be the University of Auckland on current ratings.

    There's perhaps room for further discussion about other answers like creating a virtual high-class network across the best globally-ranked parts of our current universities instead.

    However, this reminds me of economic development arguments over the last ten years that Auckland is our only city-region large enough to compete for resources on the world stage. That's not a slight on the rest of the country, just a product of history - the same history that saw this young nation get disproportionate investment in our university network compared with our population.

    It's a shame to abandon that advantage that helped make us the richest country in the world by the 1960s, but decades of subsequent poor national leadership may have cost us that already.

    Hazeldine also 'borrowed' this point about scale:

    It is in New Zealand’s largest city which has a wide range of tertiary provision therefore freeing up the University of Auckland to have a special goal – Massey, AUT, the two Polytechnics (Unitec and MIT(NZ)) and Te Wananga o Aotearoa can provide excellent tertiary education for Auckland to complement the narrower and targeted approach the University of Auckland would be taking.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Lilith __,

    Bart and Lucy, hats off to you for your patience and politeness in this debate

    ++++1

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3559 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Deborah,

    At present, student fees are about 75% government funded, and 25% student funded, mostly via loans.

    Ha!

    University of Auckland
    Domestic student fees for one year of a BA: $5666.40.
    Government subsidy for one year of a BA: $6014.00
    For an arts degree, the ratio's not 25:75, but 49:51.

    LLB domestic student fees: $6050.40
    LLB government subsidy: $6014.00
    For law, it's 50:50.

    The equivalent international fees are $23,968.80 (BA) and $28,048.80 (LLB)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    seem to assume that these brilliant and dedicated folk are somehow pulling a con

    Seems related to agency theory, a core tenet of neololiberalism that public servants can't be trusted. Infested this country during the 1990s funder-provider pseudo-corporatisation of our public agencies.

    Still needs to be properly replaced by a smart progressive government. If not in the aftermath of a huge failure of market regulation, when?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    There’s perhaps room for further discussion about other answers like creating a virtual high-class network across the best globally-ranked parts of our current universities instead.

    There could be, yes, but as I know you're someone who supports the "compact city" vision for Auckland you'll be familiar with the "agglomeration benefits" argument in support of that vision and be able to see how virtualising an entire tertiary institution across the country will be destructive the benefits that come from inter-faculty discussion and collaboration - especially in physical disciplines, where virtual collaboration is, at best, difficult.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I think you need SONAR to deal with U-Boats, not RADAR.

    Not entirely, U-boats spent most of their time on the surface but because of their low profile, radar, particularly at the time, would have struggled.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3420 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    That was effectively the case for many years into the 20th century. It’s still the case in much of the world today.

    Much the case in remote parts of NZ too. Many roads up north have no power. Unless one can afford solar, the cost to get power to the street can be prohibitive. In our case, tens of thousands just to connect to the pole that we can actually see. And all so we could get a power bill. Jus' sayin', coat gettin'

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    So if New Zealand is to have one world class university it can only be the University of Auckland on current ratings.

    A "University of New Zealand" has been suggested several times. With campuses at various sites. The idea is that it would foster collaboration rather than competition.

    The reverse experience of splitting the DSIR&MAF into 10 CRIs (now 8) suggests that competition between universities is not a good thing and a merger to form the UoNZ might be productive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3420 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Deborah,

    My assumption is that he intends that students would be able to borrow the increased fees via the student loans system. That’s a cost to government, because even though student loans are loans (duh), it still costs to provide them in the first place.

    It’s also through loans that National comes to the conclusion that we spend amongst the most in the OECD, per capita, on tertiary education. So if we increase the amounts being loaned, our per-capita spending increases (according to National economics). If that’s what it takes, so be it.

    He does talk of the need for much better scholarships to be available, too, addressing your other apparent objection to the suggestion that we even dare to consider trying to create one elite university in a country with 4.5 million occupants and no fewer than eight full universities. If we rationalised some of them down a bit we could probably free up a fair bit more funding, too. (ETA: Bart, snap)

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    One part of the UoNZ question that is oft ignored is the role technical training institutes need to play. Techs have often been treated as poor cousins but they play as important a role in society as the Uni. Their students are as valuable to society in the roles they play as university graduates but are not accorded the respect they deserve.

    I find it a great pity that the Techs have felt the need to become Universities.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3420 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It's somewhat ironic that a country with such a strong culture of anti-elitism has a strong culture of intellectual snobbery.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

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