Secondary school rolls continue to grow

Posted By TEU on Jun 17, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 22

The demographic baby boom passing from secondary schools into tertiary education will continue next year, according to data recently released from the Ministry of Education. The ministry’s School Roll Summary Report: March 2010, shows that the number of year 12 students in secondary schools has grown by 22 percent over the last decade and the number of year 13 students by 37 percent.

For most school year-groups the change in student numbers between 2009 and 2010 is relatively small or static. However, the number of year 12 students grew by 2 percent between last year and this year, up to 57,000, while the number of year 13 students grew by 5 percent, to 47,000.

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs says that this information places pressure on the government to provide more places and funding for these students as they move on to post-secondary education.

The demographic growth in young people reaching school leaving age, alongside increased demand for tertiary education as a response to the global recession, clearly is placing significant pressure on tertiary education staff.

“The minister of education Mr Joyce has previously indicated that pressure on tertiary education rolls as a result of capped funding is a short term phenomenon” said Ms Riggs. “He may be right, but it looks, from these figures, as though increased numbers of students leaving schools could continue for another two years. In the meantime, some students will continue to miss out on the chance to learn while staff will continue to face heavier workloads resulting from more students and less funding.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Teacher education to become post-graduate course?
  2. Failing students identified prior to loans cuts
  3. NMIT searching for flying gardeners and mussel farmers
  4. Otago Polytechnic struggles against funding cuts
  5. British govt plans ‘degrees on the cheap’

Other news

Primary school teacher training in Hawke’s Bay has been canned to save $400,000. The move leaves students part-way through their four-year courses without a class to go to unless they shift out of the region. Massey University said Government caps on the number of tertiary students it would fund left it no choice but to cut the course, which ran at a loss every year –The Dominion Post

Those planning to study at the University of Otago for fun next year will have to find a new hobby. As part of its attempts to limit roll growth, “interest-only” enrolments will no longer be accepted – Otago Daily Times

“There are lots of issues in tertiary education and I’m not sure National has really got a plan for that area, so I’m looking forward to taking (minister Steven Joyce) on” – the Labour Party’s newly-promoted spokesperson on tertiary education, Grant Robertson.

With capped funding and high demand, NZQA’s delegated power to set university entrance standards for those aged under 20 is becoming increasingly meaningless. Universities have to ration places even for those who meet NZQA’s standard – Auckland, Otago, VUW and Massey have all put in place measures to limit access to university – Education Directions

The lions’ share of Uganda’s new budget will go to the education sector. Finance Minister Syda Bbumba revealed yesterday as she unveiled the 2010/11 budget that the government will continue to focus on increasing and improving equitable access to quality education at all levels – Daily Monitor

There might have been a Wal-Mart University. As the world’s largest retailer weighed its options for making a big splash in education, executives told one potential academic partner that Wal-Mart Stores was considering buying a university or starting its own. But “Wal-Mart U” never happened. Instead, the retailer chose a third option: a landmark alliance that will make a little-known for-profit institution, American Public University, the favored online-education provider to Wal-Mart’s 1.4 million workers in the United States – The Chronicle

Australia’s National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is taking international education company Navitas to the workplace relations tribunal. NTEU wants the company to release information on its plans to run a new private college at Newcastle University’s Callaghan campus. Currently the details are marked commercial in confidence. The union is concerned that staff will lose their jobs under the college plan, and that Navitas will be sold the right to use staff’s intellectual property for commercial gain – Radio 2SER-FM 107.3

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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