Labour announces three years of free study

Posted By TEU on Feb 4, 2016 |

Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 3

Labour Party leader Andrew Little announced this week that if elected his party would introduce three free years of education for all new tertiary education students.

The policy will begin in 2019 as one free year per student and be fully funded as three free years by 2025.

All new school leavers and anybody who has not previously had tertiary education will be entitled to free study and there will be no age limit.

Little estimates that the policy will cost $265 million in 2019 and $1.2 billion by the time it is fully implemented.

Little said Labour would pay for part of the policy by cancelling the government’s promised tax cuts.

TEU president Sandra Grey welcomed the new policy, saying it finally recognises that tertiary education is an investment for the country rather than a burden.

“Three years of free education is a big ticket item but it will have an even bigger return for New Zealanders because they will have the freedom to pursue the dreams, careers and passions that inspire them,” says Grey.

“It has been a long time since anyone has talked about investing money in tertiary education for the good of students, and for the good of people, rather than for the benefit of business,” says Grey.

Others in the sector also welcomed the policy, with Universities New Zealand saying “This could open a lot of doors” and the Industry Training Federation saying the policy will support a changing workforce that requires upskilling and reskilling throughout people’s careers.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. PBRF not the place for new investment
  2. Whaea Mere rests after lifetime of service
  3. Napier, Dunedin, Palmerston North, Tauranga to lose mediators
  4. Pay gap grows another two cents
  5. Fraud investigations at three unnamed institutions
  6. TPPA threatens free education

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