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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 1 18 February 1970


Cartoon of students surrounding oversized fruit bowl

[unclear: jectives] of being at a university is the practical one of preparing oneself for a career, and points out that Confucious said in the analects that it was not easy to find a man who had studied for three years without aiming at pay. The Report suggests that the ancient universities of Europe were founded to promote the training of the clergy, doctors and lawyers, and that although at times there may have been many who attended for the pursuit of pure knowledge, they must have been a minority. I come back continually to the view that is supported by all of the available statistics, and that is that the more effort we put into producing graduates in fields closely associated with the New Zealand economy, the more likely we are to keep them. In terms of economic return, this is in my view our best investment and none of those who have contributed to this topic have been able to deny this fact. I have been accused of "bringing an accountant's mind to bear on the matter". It is extremely difficult to measure results even in terms of personal satisfaction, in terms other than which can be correlated by an accountant. If they can't be measured, it is difficult to compare them. Am I an exception if I am prepared to criticise? I am prepared to advocate, if necessary, re-organising the universities, to press them to be more useful, more economical in the use of funds, and more valuable to their students. I believe that the rapid increase in the absolute amount, the percentage of national income and the amount per head of population in university spending, will reach a point in the foreseeable future where some Minister of Finance in some government will say "Stop, I cannot finance this". I have pressed for an examination of this by the appropriate authorities so that this head-on collision may be avoided. There is, I believe, general agreement on the essential need for adequate expenditure on education. In recent years, expenditure has increased much more rapidly in the university field than in other areas of education. This is no doubt attributable in part to the rise in the university student roll which has now reached almost 24,000, double the number of nine years ago. Over the same period, the share of resources devoted by Government to the universities has increased at a much higher rate than the share of resources expended on education generally. The upsurge in spending on university education points to the need for some reappraisal of the allocation of scarce resources of money and personnel to ensure that they are being expended in