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Public have little confidence in tertiary sector

Hon Bill English

National Party Education Spokesman

16 April 2006

Public have little confidence in tertiary sector

If the Government expects taxpayers to keep paying more and more for tertiary education, it will have to act quickly to boost public confidence in the sector, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is commenting on results of an NZQA-initiated UMR survey which finds just 36 per cent of New Zealanders have confidence in the tertiary education system, while 24 per cent have little or no confidence, and 36 per cent are 'neutral'.

"If 24 per cent of shareholders in any other organisation had no confidence in how it was operating and the results it was producing, the board would be sacked," says Mr English.

"Only one-third of New Zealanders think the tertiary system is anywhere near the standard our young people deserve. At best this is indifference, at worst it's a vote of no confidence.

"This low level of public confidence undermines the efforts of every student striving to achieve a meaningful tertiary qualification.

"Kiwi taxpayers pour $3.2 billion into the tertiary sector each year. At that price they have every right to expect a top-quality system, providing world-class education and value for money.

"Six years of Labour's stewardship have left a legacy of low-value courses, low expectations, budget blow-outs, 70 per cent non-completion rates for sub-degree courses, and a lack of accountability.

"The general public aren't experts on Labour's tertiary policies, but they don't like the results they've seen from them," says Mr English.


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