Fees-free tertiary education great news for all Kiwis

Posted By TEU on Dec 8, 2017 |

Tertiary Update – Vol 20 No 38

Kiwis that have recently left school, or who have done less than half a full time year of post-school education or training will be eligible to study fees-free next year.

The new fees-free policy fulfils an election promise made by Labour and is expected to benefit 80,000 people, an estimated 50,000 of whom would train or study at a polytechnic, as industry trainees or at a wānanga.

Students’ fees will be covered up to maximum of $12,000. Costs such as associated mandatory fees and compulsory student services fees at providers will also be covered, and included in the $12,000 cap.

Apprentices and industry trainees will get two years of fees-free training because their courses are less than full time.

Eligible courses or qualification must be recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or Universities New Zealand, and be funded through the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Sandra Grey, national president of the Tertiary Education Union, welcomed the announcement and said every New Zealander would benefit from making learning more accessible.

“Whether it’s the mechanic who gets our car back on the road, the nurse that cares for our loved ones in their time of need, or the teacher that inspires our children to learn – the benefits of tertiary education are all around us,” she said.

Public tertiary education supports economic and social development, so pooling public resources to ensure learning opportunities are available to as many people as possible – and that cost is not a barrier to study – will benefit society and businesses alike.

Grey added: “Under National, the private good model of tertiary education sorted the tertiary educated from the non-tertiary educated by willingness or ability to pay. Whether you’re a young person figuring out your path, changing careers later in life, learning new skills or finding your passion, today’s announcement will mean that a tertiary education is a more realistic option for many thousands more students.”

Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, told the New Zealand Herald that the government had budgeted that the policy would led to a 3 percent increase in equivalent full time students, or about 2,000 extra students.

The TEC will be responsible for implementing the policy and will pay students’ fees directly. The TEC launched a new website earlier in the week that people could use to find out if they are eligible to have their fees covered.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. TEC prompt fears staff will be excluded from project on future of ITPs
  2. Free fees will help end crushing feeling of student debt
  3. Private provider’s closure leaves students in limbo

Other news

The Tertiary Education Commission has published its post-election briefing for new Education Minister Chris Hipkins – TEC

The Ministry of Education has also published a briefing for the new Education Minister, Chris Hipkins – MoE

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has also published a briefing for the new Education Minister, Chris Hipkins – NZQA

Education New Zealand has also published a briefing for the new Education Minister, Chris Hipkins – Education NZ

Te Ati Awa and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa have signed a Kawenata to cover their work together – TWOA

The Tertiary Education Commission has published Plan Guidance for the 2018 investment round – TEC

Business person Neil Paviour-Smith has been elected as the new Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington for 2018 – VUW

The Victoria University of Wellington has signed a number of relationship agreements with Māori organisations – VUW

The Tertiary Education Commission has made improvements to its fund finder pages – TEC

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