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Maharey throws away $1.54 billion

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

14 December 2004

Maharey throws away $1.54 billion

A Government report showing that 70% of students enrolled in sub-degree tertiary courses will never finish them confirms that Steve Maharey has wasted $1.54 billion, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

The Tertiary Education Sector Profile and Trends report shows that after five years:

· Only 27% of students studying for a diploma have completed it.

· Only 23% of students studying for a level 4 certificate have completed it.

· Only 33% of students studying for a level 1-3 certificate have completed it.

Mr English says a 70% non-completion rate is scandalous.

Sub-degree level courses generally take less than five years, and investment in this area has almost doubled under the Labour Government.

When Steve Maharey launched the Tertiary Education Commission he said it would 'bring clear strategic direction to the system as a whole' and would ensure that 'student enrolments are concentrated in areas of high performance and high strategic relevance'.

"Unless his strategy was a 70% failure rate, this report makes an absolute mockery of that statement and of the Minister," says Mr English.

"The individuals are wasting their money by paying for these courses if they're not going to complete them, which is their loss, but 70% of the $2.2 billion tertiary education budget has also been hosed away, and the Minister must be held accountable."


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