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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 8. April 30 1968

Muldoon on the cost of failure

page 3

Muldoon on the cost of failure



"What is the cost of examination failures by university students?" asked Mr. Muldoon at Victoria University last week.

He was expanding on previous remarks which had attracted criticism from Professors K. Sinclair and I. A. McDougall.

"It is impossible to estimate" he said.

Before reiterating information which had been provided by civil servants, he said: "I am not very happy with the theory behind it".

"A full-time student failing three units costs the country $3000 or $100 per unit."

"Last year", said Mr. Muldoon, "the country lost $10 million on this basis, give or take $5 million or so."

"I am not suggesting this is accurate." he said, "All I am saying is that the cost is high."

"In 1976-77 the total University expenditure will have risen from $32.4 million in 1968 to an estimated $60 million.

"Allowing for a 2½% increase per annum it will reach $77½ million."

"It will not be my job to find the money," he said, "but some Minister of Finance will.

"This will be a major problem."

"I suggest we focus our attention on ensuring our resources are going in the right direction.

"Should we continue to carry on as present and multiply expenditure up to the estimated figure, or should we investigate as to whether some change in resources is necessary?"

Mr. Muldoon said: "Some of our university students would be better off at technical institutions."

"I believe that in terms of a man's career he is far better as a successful technician than as an unsuccessful graduate."

He mentioned the field of computers as important for technical institutions, "not programming or how to work computers but how to apply them to every field of activity."

Mr. Muldoon said: "N.Z. has no future in the construction of computers but technicians could train every graduate to appreciate the power of the computer in his own field."

In mentioning the National Development Conference (N.D.C), to be held later in the year. Mr. Muldoon said: "the press, although they are very good people, will not print anything that has been used before".

He said any reference to N.D.C. had been wiped from reports of his speeches although he had always mentioned the conference.

"One sector will be on education." he said.

"Anything deserving that emerges will be followed up with committees or whatever is necesary, on a permanent basis, to Work for its logical end."