By Adam Walker
The Tertiary Education Union believes the country’s universities need to look at how they spend their marketing dollars.
It follows Otago University’s decision to become a major sponsor of Super Rugby franchise the Highlanders.
The university will have its name on the back of the jersey, on medics’ bibs and painted on the surface at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The Tertiary Education Union believes the money would be better spent on research, lowering fees and reducing class sizes.
Deputy Secretary, Nanette Cormack believes this sponsorship has similarities to nationwide advertising campaigns, something she also doesn’t entirely agree with.
“Why do New Zealand universities spend the millions of dollars they do advertising within a very finite polpulation within New Zealand? I think that’s a waste of money.”
Southland Institute of Technology has had similar sponsorship deals with rugby, netball and basketball.
However, Otago University believes sponsoring the Highlanders could potentially pay off big time.
As part of the deal it’ll have its logos on jerseys, medical bibs and the turf at Forsyth Barr Stadium for home games.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says the Otago is aiming to capitalise on the franchise’s significant exposure in New Zealand and overseas.