NZ floats idea of degree in prostitution
Wednesday Jul 18 15:02 AEST
Funding for tertiary courses in prostitution could be considered under changes aimed at boosting quality and relevance in the sector, New Zealand education officials say.
But MPs on parliament's education and science select committee were told on Wednesday that although courses in the world's oldest profession might be considered if providers put them forward, they would still have to meet tight criteria to get funding.
The questions on prostitution, posed by New Zealand First MP Brian Donnelly, surfaced as MPs were quizzing Tertiary Education Commission officials on changes to how tertiary education was funded.
Under the changes, from next year, institutions will be bulk funded on the basis of agreed three-year plans rather than on the number of students enrolled in specific approved courses.
Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen has said the changes are aimed at increasing the "quality and relevance" of courses.
However, they have raised questions regarding the TEC's actual control over individual courses.
National Party education spokeswoman Katherine Rich said she was concerned by the TEC's apparent "agnostic" attitude towards the content of courses under the new system.
She questioned whether it might lead to a continuing proliferation of courses such as twilight golf seen under the old system.
TEC chief executive Janice Shiner said under the new system a request to provide prostitution courses would be assessed against the same criteria as any other course.