Media release: New Report Sounds Alarm on the Future of New Zealand Universities

Dr James Kierstead
4 July, 2024

Wellington (Thursday, 4 July 2024) - The New Zealand Initiative has released a report highlighting the critical challenges facing the country's universities. This report is based on the symposium "The Future of Our Universities," which took place 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. 
The full report "The Future of Our Universities" is available on The New Zealand Initiative's website here


To arrange an interview with Dr James Kierstead, please contact:

Jamuel Enriquez, Marketing and Communications Manager
P: 021 022 34451
About The New Zealand Initiative

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