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National will deliver better outcomes for tertiary students

Hon Steven Joyce
National Party
Spokesman for Tertiary Education

21 November 2011 Media Statement
National will deliver better outcomes for tertiary students and taxpayers

A re-elected National Government will continue its drive for better outcomes for students in the tertiary education system as well as for the taxpayers who fund it, says National’s Tertiary Education spokesman Steven Joyce.

He says National will link funding for tertiary institutions to performance, publish employment data for graduates of each qualification and simplify the number of qualifications on offer.

“From next year, five per cent of tertiary providers’ tuition funding will be at risk based on their performance against a clear set of achievement indicators. This will incentivise institutions to perform and will drive value for money.

“To ensure foundation education delivers results for those who most need it, we will embed fundamental literacy and numeracy skills into level 1 and 2 courses. We’ll also restrict entry to these courses to those who haven’t previously achieved at that level, with the exception of ESOL and Maori language courses.”

Mr Joyce says National remains totally committed to the interest-free student loan scheme.

“However, to ensure student loans are sustainable for generations to come National will make further changes to ensure students don’t finish their study with masses of debt that they have little chance of repaying.

“Some students are borrowing for very large course loads in a single academic year. In many cases this is because they change their mind about what they want to study more than once in a year.

“National will consult on and limit the amount of credits students can enrol in, in any given year. This will prevent taxpayer money being wasted in this way, and help prevent borrowers building up big loans which bring no benefit in terms of qualifications gained.

“We will also continue to target the high levels of outstanding debt held by New Zealanders now based overseas. Just 15 per cent of loan holders are in this category but they hold 70 per cent of overdue debt.

“National will aggressively chase overseas-based borrowers to repay their loans.”

Mr Joyce says National is improving value for money in the tertiary sector, as well as the relevance and quality of courses.

“We’ve funded more places at universities, polytechs and private training providers without big budget increases. Over the next three years we will continue to deliver positive outcomes for students and the economy.”

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