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More NZers take advantage of tertiary education

More New Zealanders take advantage of tertiary education

Latest figures from the Ministry of Education show that the number of New Zealanders enrolling in tertiary education has significantly increased says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

The figures show that between July 2001 and July 2002 the number of students involved in tertiary education increased by 11.3% to 319,881. Almost all of that increase (95%) was in the public tertiary sector.

Steve Maharey said the number of domestic students enrolled with tertiary providers grew by 8.6% in the year to July 2002 (the latest period for which official statistics are available).

“Seventy percent of the growth is due to enrolments at wananga (Mäori public tertiary education institutions). There was a 23.2% increase in the number of students identifying as Maori between July 2001 and July 2002.

“Participation by Maori in tertiary education is now at levels that are comparable and in some cases higher than non-Maori. The challenge is now to get more Maori enrolling in higher-level tertiary studies and in other areas where Maori have been traditionally under-represented.

“Enrolments also increased at polytechnics (6.4%) and universities (1.4%) between July 2001 and July 2002.

“It is interesting to note that this growth has occurred while the number of students finishing high school has remained stable. Factors likely to have convinced tertiary students to begin studying include moves by the government to make student loans fairer and to stabilise fees, as well as an increasing recognition of the need to boost skills for a more complex job market,” Steve Maharey said.

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