Victoria University of WELLINGTON has announced a new $30-million research project to figure out how the university managed to dig itself a $30 million financial hole. ‘Some have suggested that spending more than you take in can have that effect over the long run,’ said Associate-Assistant Vice-Dean Barbara Boffin, ‘But it’s obviously something we need to investigate further.’ The losses were definitely not due to a new AI programme designed to find every instance of the university’s name anywhere in the world and capitalize every letter of the word WELLINGTON, said Super-Pro-Vice-Chancellor Tom Toady. Read more
Dr James Kierstead
James is Senior Lecturer in Classics at Victoria University of Wellington, where his research focusses on ancient Greek democracy.
His main focus at the Initiative will be on higher education policy, including academic freedom.
James holds a BA in Classics from Oxford, an MA in Ancient History from the University of London, an MA in Political Science from Stanford, and a PhD in Classics from Stanford.
He is also the co-host (with Michael Johnston) of Free Kiwis!, a podcast dedicated to free speech in a New Zealand context, and he can be found on Twitter at @Kleisthenes2.
Phone: 04 499 0790
Welcome to the New Zealand Initiative podcast! In this week’s episode, Drs Michael Johnston and James Kierstead discuss the challenges faced by universities in New Zealand, focusing on issues such as declining enrolments, the impact of international student numbers, and the need for universities to foster open and civil debate on controversial topics. Read more
Wellington (Monday, 19 June 2023) – The New Zealand Initiative has revealed that Victoria and Otago Universities employ more non-academic than academic staff, a situation prevalent in all New Zealand universities for the past decade. The findings, prepared by Drs. Read more
New Zealand’s universities are in crisis. AUT announced 170 academic redundancies last year. Read more
Last year, Kiri Allan was forced to withdraw the government’s latest ‘hate speech’ proposals, only a year or so after Kris Faafoi was forced to shelve similar plans. We have no doubt that you were as dismayed as we were by these developments (or lack of developments). Read more
New Zealand’s universities are in crisis. Their most immediate problem is financial. Read more
Last week Victoria University of Wellington announced that it was looking to cut some 230 to 260 jobs as part of its plan to tackle a $30 million deficit. The news followed an announcement by the University of Otago that it would shed ‘several hundred’ positions in an effort to fill a $60 million dollar hole in its budget. Read more
Spread out over 8, 000 acres (hence ‘the Farm’), Stanford University’s campus is an impressive sight. Palms line the triumphant main drive. Read more
On March 31st, at a meeting of member-countries, it was agreed that the UK would join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is one of the world’s largest free-trade blocs, accounting for 13% of global GDP, 15% of global trade, and 500 million people. Read more
In this podcast episode, we explore the state of education in New Zealand, both at the school and university levels. Drawing from our own experiences, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the current education system and the challenges that students face in their pursuit of higher education. Read more
In this episode, Dr Oliver Hartwich and Dr James Kierstead discuss administrative bloat in New Zealand universities, focusing on the rise of non-academic staff and its potential consequences. Dr Kierstead shares some figures on the large number of non-academic employees compared to academic staff and compares the situation to other countries. Read more
In September 1969, hippies thronged to Auckland’s Albert Park to stand up for free speech, protest the Vietnam War, and enjoy the grass. It was part of a movement for free love and free minds that was sweeping the English-speaking world at the time. Read more
Recent Ministry of Education publications bring mātauranga Māori concepts into the school curriculum. While concepts like mauri, a Māori term meaning “vital essence” or “life force”, may have something to offer science as a reflection of ecosystem health or the “life-supporting capacity” of rivers, any interpretation that equated mauri with chemical properties, or as “the binding force between the physical and the spiritual”, had no place in the chemistry curriculum and proposals to incorporate traditional knowledge in science curricula need a lot more reflection, with nobody excluded from the conversation. Read more
Roger Openshaw is Emeritus Professor of Education at Massey University. We drew on his rich knowledge of NZ educational history as we discussed the changing relationship between central government and NZ schools over the past century or so; the perils and promises of the new history curriculum; and how solid the evidence is for the common assertion that the NZ education system is racist. Read more
Free Speech Union spokesperson Dane Giraud speaks to James Kierstead, who gives his summary of the failed hate speech laws before they discuss the need for generosity towards your ideological opponents, the woke re-editing of Roald Dahl's books, and the general issue with translations and tampering with texts.
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