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Over $130m to strengthen higher-level tertiary education

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

16 May 2013

Over $130m to strengthen higher-level tertiary education

Budget 2013 commits over $130 million over four years in new funding for investment in tertiary education, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

“The Government continues to make investing in engineering and science a priority, because these skills are crucial for growth in our economy and they have been the subject of under-investment in the past.

“Industry demand for skilled engineers and scientists remains high and the Budget addresses these issues by increasing funding for tuition subsidy rates in engineering and science programmes across the tertiary education system.”

New initiatives over the next four years include:

An additional $9.3 million for engineering (a 2 per cent funding increase per equivalent fulltime student).
An additional $17.9 million for science (a 2 per cent funding increase per equivalent fulltime student).
An additional $28.7 million for private training establishments to close the remainder of the gap in student achievement component funding with public tertiary education institutions.
An additional $32.4 million to assist in meeting the Better Public Services target of increasing the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds with a qualification at level 4 or higher to 55 per cent by 2017. $6.3 million increase to the equity funding pool to maintain current rates per student.
Confirmation of new funding rates to support New Zealand Apprenticeships and other changes to improve the industry training system ($3,200, GST exclusive, for trainees, and $5,200, GST exclusive, for New Zealand Apprenticeships).

Budget 2013 also sets aside an additional $24.5 million in contingency for Skills for Canterbury to support the Canterbury rebuild and Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs), with funding to be released after the CoREs review.

The Government will use a new benchmarking tool in the coming year to determine whether the relativities between tuition funding for different disciplines need to be further changed.

Some of the higher-cost subjects may still be relatively under-funded compared to lower-cost areas like management, commerce and arts courses. These issues will be addressed if necessary in future Budgets.

“The tertiary education sector is a key driver of New Zealand’s innovation, productivity and growth,” Mr Joyce says.

“In tough economic times, the Government is continuing to use savings in student support and other areas to make significant investments in tertiary education, while improving the overall performance of the sector. This benefits students, the taxpayer and New Zealand overall.”

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