Vice chancellors will lobby hard for more funding in the run-up to New Zealand's first election under its new polling system.
Leslie Holborow, chairman of the vice chancellors' committee, said that adequate resourcing was a big issue for tertiary education following cuts of recent years and pressure for higher salaries.
"We are clearly going to have to work hard to convince all political the parties that tertiary education should be a priority, in addition to what's needed in other education areas," said Professor Holborow, who is vice chancellor at the Victoria University of Wellington, Universities could not continue to absorb costs indefinitely or increase tuition fees until they reached damaging levels.
"There's been some evidence students are already under pressure (from high fees) at the first-year level," he added. The relationship of university degrees to the qualifications framework was still a concern, particularly the issue of autonomy.