The Future of Our Universities

Dr James Kierstead
4 July, 2024

This report is on the critical challenges facing the country's university sector, based on its tertiary education symposium "The Future of Our Universities" held in May 2024. 
The report, written by Dr James Kierstead, highlights several pressing issues threatening the sustainability and quality of tertiary education in New Zealand: 

  • Severe funding pressures, with universities collectively forecasting a deficit for the first time in 2024
  • Declining international rankings of New Zealand universities over the past decade
  • Growing bureaucratisation diverting resources away from core teaching and research functions
  • Concerns about threats to academic freedom and viewpoint diversity on campuses
  • Underinvestment in research and development compared to other OECD countries

"The challenges our universities face are complex and deeply entrenched,” said Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative. “Overcoming them will require boldness, creativity and above all, an unwavering commitment to a free and open contest of ideas." 
The report serves as a wake-up call to raise awareness of these critical issues facing New Zealand universities and the need for new ideas and approaches to address these complex challenges. 

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