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

 


Bill English - National Education 31 March 2006

31 March 2006

More Students With More Debt

Who wanted more students with more debt and fewer students on student allowances? Probably no one, but that's what the Labour Government believes will happen. Officials forecast a 27% increase in new debt by 2009, and that the number of borrowers will increase form 165,000 to 209,000. Total debt will be $300 million higher than under the existing policy.

At the same time, the number of students receiving student allowance has been dropping at a rate of about 5% a year despite increases in the income test threshold. Politicians have responded to pressure to reduce the cost of debt rather than the causes of debt, such as the level of fees subsidy and living costs. So the Government will provide a growing proportion of student support through loans and a reducing proportion through allowances that don't have to be repaid.

And That's Conservative

It turns out that the increase in student loans as result of the "no interest while studying" policy is much higher than the Government has let on. Before the election, Trevor Mallard said there was only a small percentage increase in the number of students borrowing as a result of this policy. However, an OIA request reveals the true story. Among full-time polytechnic and university students, 20% more borrowed when the new policy came in. Official estimates of a 27% increase for full interest-free loans look conservative. Mallard's figures were distorted by large numbers enrolling in free distance-learning courses at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, and big increases in part-timers.

Digital Divide Between Parents and Schools

Steve Maharey told Parliament that parents can access Schoolsmart information -provided they go to the school to get it. He calls this "the right context ", which apparently means the principal's office. So the world goes real time digital and the Internet kills the tyranny of distance, but parents have to turn up and watch the principal at the keyboard to find out about their schools.

The Minister is starting to turn himself inside out defending the indefensible secrecy of Schoolsmart. Maharey has broken whatever undertakings were made to schools about their data because he has released hundreds of pages of data about individual schools as answers to parliamentary questions. There appears to be neither rhyme nor reason to the distinctions he has made between data he is willing to release and data he is holding back. The Schoolsmart website, however, provides a more sensible context for presenting and using this data.

Auditor-General slams TAMU Officials

In his own polite language, the Auditor-General slammed ministry and education officials in the Tertiary Advisory Monitoring Unit. Over the past five years this small group of officials and expensive hanger-on consultant advisors has monitored a dozen polytechnics and one wananga into persistent financial failure.

The Auditor-General suggested that the busloads of Wellington officials who have toured the wananga's offices over the past three years could have done a better job. Howard Fancy should sort out TAMU before he goes. Under Steve Maharey, officials unfortunately dropped their standards to his level. The Minister didn't want to upset anyone, so officials pretended that polytechnics and the wananga were going fine. Like anyone else who has watched, the Auditor-General can't understand why the Government has made such a mess of its ownership interest in polytechnics.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news