Summarised by Centrist
Dr Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago reviews an article by two New Zealand academics, Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger and Emeritus Professor John Raine. The article is endorsed by many others. They have concerns about the declining quality of NZ’s universities and fall in global academic rankings due to factors like underfunding and bureaucratic overload.
The authors propose 13 solutions to restore the quality of tertiary education in New Zealand. These include protecting academic freedom, revising the government funding model, and reducing non-academic staff ratios. They also include ensuring merit-based recruitment and promotion and getting away from political and ideological funding models based on race and ethnicity.
The academics also call for supporting disadvantaged students and addressing the decline in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM subjects) proficiency among school leavers. They urge the Government to review and act on these recommendations to prevent New Zealand’s universities from becoming mediocre and inward-looking.
Image: Nathan Hughes Hamilton