Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


English confused again

14 December 2004 Media Statement

English confused again

National Party Education Spokesperson Bill English got his facts wrong again when he suggested that the government spent $1.54 billion on diploma and certificate courses that were not completed, Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey said today.

Bill English was referring to figures in New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Sector: Profile & Trends 2003, but clearly got confused by the numbers, Steve Maharey said.

"Despite Mr English's claims to the contrary, this report confirms the New Zealand tertiary sector is growing and better serving the needs of the nation, the economy and society," Steve Maharey said.

"Mr English quotes a 70% non-completion rate for students who started diploma and certificate courses in 1999, but fails to point out that more than two-thirds of those students had dropped out by the end of 1999. As I recall that's when his party was last in government.

"He is also confused when he suggests the government spent 70% of the total tertiary education budget on diploma and certificate courses that were not completed. Given that less than half of the funding that goes into tuition subsidies goes to diploma and certificate courses this is a bizarre claim.

"While New Zealand's retention rates compare favourably with other OECD countries, we are striving to do even better. In 2001, we introduced a retention rate requirement on funded courses. If a provider does not meet the 50% annual retention rate for two successive years, the Tertiary Education Commission will look at the contributing factors that led to the poor retention rate, and may withdraw funding for the course.

"Next year the Tertiary Education Commission will trial a new Performance Measure, which focuses on the provider overall performance on three indicators – a learner survey, the course completion rate and the course retention rate.

"Once again Mr English is making ludicrous claims without bothering to check the facts. Clearly the only thing he can be relied upon to do is get it wrong," Steve Maharey said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>


Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>


Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>





Featured InfoPages