Patrice Dougan is the Herald's education reporter.

Close to 30 jobs to go at Waikato University

The Faculty of Education is going to lose 22 full-time equivalent roles. Photo / Getty
The Faculty of Education is going to lose 22 full-time equivalent roles. Photo / Getty

More than 20 staff are set to lose their jobs from Waikato University.

The redundancies will affect the Faculty of Education, which will lose 22.5 full-time equivalent jobs. Four new jobs will be established.

It's understood up to nine staff members within the faculty had opted to retire this year, which had reduced the number of redundancies the university had originally considered.
The redundancies were revealed to affected staff this morning, with the wider university being informed at 2pm, the Herald understands.

The university also announced it is considering contracting out the Waikato Pathways College - Te Huanui to a private provider, with the potential of job losses there too. The college specialises in English language study for international students, and also offers further training for teachers.

Staff will be given the option to transfer over to the private contractor, but it's not certain this option will be available for all jobs.

In a letter sent to staff this afternoon, Waikato University bosses said the institution has seen a "steady decline" in enrolments since 2009, which had been more dramatic since 2013. Despite "trimming expenditure" the university said it had "not kept pace with the drop in income".

The redundancy proposal cuts across all specialities in the Te Hononga School of Curriculum and Pegagogy - with 1.6 full-time equivalent senior tutor positions disestablished in arts education; 0.5 in language and literacy education; two in maths; three in science, technology and environment; and one in social studies.

In the Te Oranga School of Human Development and Movement Studies two full-time equivalent senior lecturer positions will go in the disability and inclusions studies; two in sports and leisure. However the new Tauranga facility will be exempt, and one position will be established.

Jobs will also go in the early childhood education department, IT education and in some administration roles.

In its proposal, the university said the "number of people affected by this proposal is greater than the number of positions that will eventually be reduced".

The university has now entered a consultation period, and staff have until May 27 to email submissions.

"It is important to note that this is a proposal only, and that no final decisions have been made," the letter said.

In a separate document, the university said it would only contract the Pathways College to a private provider that was "highly reputable international provider with extensive global resources and networks, and a high-quality profile in the pre-degree and English Language programmes market".

Any such arrangement would be on a partnership basis, it said, and its programmes would be approved by the university.

The move was driven by a push to "significantly increase" the number of international students attending the university, it said.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley told the Herald in a statement that a fall in enrolments in the Faculty of Education had driven a review of staffing.

"In contrast to the growth in student numbers in other parts of the university, enrolments in Education have declined for the past few years and the university has now reached the point where it cannot continue to absorb reductions in the revenue of the Faculty of Education without adjustments to staffing levels," the statement said.

"Affected staff are being communicated and consulted with, and all staff across the faculty have been asked to provide feedback by the end of the month on the change proposal. It is proposed that 16.28 full-time equivalent staff are disestablished."

Professor Quigley said the university was also consulting with staff in the Pathways College.

"Around the world, there are more than 1000 English-medium Foundation programmes, of which half are delivered by five private providers," Professor Quigley says.

"The University of Waikato believes that management by a private provider will give the Pathways College access to a larger and more specialised network for the recruitment of students, the effectiveness of which will far exceed that of the existing recruitment channels managed by the university itself.

"The proposal is therefore designed to create a structure within which the university can substantially increase enrolments in its pathway programmes."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 Feb 2017 00:26:14 Processing Time: 417ms