By Mabel Muller - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tertiary Education Commission has pulled all funding for one of New Zealand's largest Pacific tertiary institutes.
The news has shocked staff and students at Auckland's BEST Pacific Institute of Education which celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year.
TEC Chief Executive Tim Fowler says the decision was inevitable as enrolments at BEST have declined in recent years.
"They've lost 60 to 70 per cent of their under 25 Pasifika student enrolments."
Photo/ Best Pacific Institute of Education.
BEST receives around 90 per cent of their funding from Government.
Fowler says their priority now is with the students and transferring them to other tertiary education providers.
"The next move is really up to BEST," he says. "Our job is to be on the ground working with students, individually if they wish, to determine where they'd like to go to next in terms of completing their qualification or moving on to a new one."
Tertiary Education Commission Chief Executive Tim Fowler. Photo/ TEC.
Earlier this year another Pacific institute in Auckland, Martin Hautus, closed down due to a lack of enrolments.
Fowler says the entire tertiary education sector is struggling with enrolments, not just Pacific education providers.
"With a strong economy and with a declining number of students leaving high school, all PTEs, many ITPs and even universities have been struggling with enrolments."
Fowler says they'll still be investing the funds towards Pacific tertiary students.
"If those Pasifika students go to another Pasifika institute or any other PTE or ITP or university, the money would follow that student."