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    Proposal To Form A Tertiary Education Round Table (TERT)
    Michael Mulheron & John B. Turner - 6/2/98

    "For a very small expense the publick can facilitate, can encourage and can even impose upon almost the whole body of the people, the necessity of acquiring those most essential parts of education."
    Adam Smith, from The Wealth of Nations (1776).

    The values of Public Education are under attack from a small powerful group who are driven by a particular ideology. A great deal of literature has been written in response, and it makes worthwhile reading, but it has been by nature, academic. That is, it is balanced, well researched and soundly reasoned. The attack though is Political and zealous. It is neither well researched nor balanced, but it is powerful. It has succeeded so well in introducing to the public mind its own language, that it now dictates the terms of any debate.

    Publicly funded education accessible to all citizens needs to be promoted in a political way. To do this we propose the formation of a Tertiary Education Round Table (TERT), a group which would coordinate a sustained response to the extremes of free market ideology in education.

    The primary aim of the Tertiary Education Round Table should be to engage the public mind. It would define and defend the principles and practice of Liberal education.

    The Tertiary Education Round Table, like the Business Round Table, should promote its values via articles, broadcasts, education breakfasts, conferences, forums and seminars, advertising, and press releases on pertinent topics. Strategies, in other words, that have the highest public and political profile.

    Michael Mulheron & John B. Turner,
    Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, 18 Nov. 1997.

    See parts one, two and three for more on the response to the Tertiary Education Review Green Paper.

    Published with permission from NZine