Free education for foundation studies

Posted By TEU on Sep 5, 2013 | 4 comments

“The government finally realises student debt is holding back the education of the nation,” says TEU national president Lesley Francey following an announcement by the tertiary education minister yesterday that all Level 1 and 2 courses would be fees-free for 20-24 year-olds.

“Now we know fees are the problem, why not extend the fees-free investment to higher level qualifications too?”

The minister, Steven Joyce, announced yesterday that, from next year, he would extend the government’s free Youth Guarantee Scheme to cover 18 and 19 year olds as well as its present group of 16-17 year-olds. The government will also provide fees-free foundation education (level 1 and 2 courses) for 20-24 year-olds.

Steven Joyce announced that the government will scrap the Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) programme and replace it with 2,000 to 4,000 additional places for short duration training providing industry skills for beneficiaries at high risk of being on a benefit in the long term, 1,420 additional English for Speakers of Other Languages places, and 1,350 additional Intensive Literacy and Numeracy course places.

Lesley Francey welcomed the announcements, saying the extra places and the promise of free education are real positives for young people looking for job skills and life skills.

“Fees are a barrier to the opportunity to learn. Giving young people the chance to learn is good for them and their communities.”

“Many of the statements Steven Joyce made yesterday at the New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers need challenging, but his policy announcements are commendable improvements on the previous policy.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. VCs lobby parliament to cut workrights
  2. Union gets photographer his pay back
  3. Central Plateau REAP settles on 2 percent pay rise
  4. Ministry of Ed needs a scientist say PM’s scientist
  5. No jobs for graduates

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