Quality public tertiary education for all New Zealanders is what’s needed, says CTU secretary Sam Huggard in response to the Productivity Commission’s call for vouchers and interest on student loans.
Huggard says the commission’s recommendation of vouchers for tertiary education will take away opportunity for everyone by opening up tertiary education to competition and fragmentation.
“Under a competitive model students and working people shoulder the risk.”
The draft Productivity Commission report poses risks for students and working people if the government implements the recommendations to open tertiary education to increased private provision.
“Tertiary education must be based on a model of opportunity for all,” says Huggard.
“The recommendations to reintroduce interest on student loans will increase the costs for students enrolled in tertiary education and will not improve equity or access to learning.”
“There are some good points made in the draft report about groups who are missing out on tertiary education, especially Māori and Pasifika students. And the recommendation that would allow students to move across and between different learning courses and institutions will be welcome. But meeting those needs will be through a strong and stable tertiary education system – and not by increasing risk and decreasing regulation.”
“There are some great things happening in many of New Zealand’s tertiary education institutions. What we need are the conditions in the universities, polytechnics and wānanga that allow all New Zealanders to learn and do well – rather than opening up our good tertiary education system to more private and experimental provision – which has all too often been shown to fail. New Zealanders deserve a world-class, quality education system,” Huggard says.