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Record numbers of degrees for 2013

Record numbers of degrees for 2013


New Zealand students completed a record number of undergraduate degree qualifications in 2013, according to new data released today by the Ministry of Education.

In 2013, 25,800 domestic students completed bachelors degrees, an increase of around 400 on the 25,400 who completed degrees in 2012, and 24 per cent higher than the 20,800 who graduated in 2008.

"This is great news" Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says. "It shows that the Government’s focus on achieving results rather than just ‘bums on seats’ is providing a sustainable lift in results for students. It also reflects the emphasis we are placing on students achieving qualifications at higher levels that provide them with a stronger financial return on their study."

Overall the total number of qualifications achieved in the year by all students (both domestic and international) remained at a historically high level at 162,000, and more than 20 percent higher than five years ago.

The number of Māori and Pasifika students completing degrees has also climbed markedly. The number of Māori students completing bachelors degrees has increased from 1,960 back in 2008 to 3,180 in 2013, a 62 per cent increase. The number of Pasifika students completing bachelors degrees has increased from 980 in 2008 to 1,530 in 2013, a 56 per cent increase.

"These are very significant improvements for Māori and Pasifika that are reflected across the full spectrum of tertiary study,” Mr Joyce says. “Last year over 10,000 more Māori students achieved qualifications across all levels of tertiary education than in 2008, and over 5,300 more Pasifika students did the same. It shows our reforms across the tertiary sector are steadily delivering much better results for Māori and Pasifika.”

“The Government is committed to increasing achievement in the tertiary sector. Having more people achieving tertiary qualifications means a more highly skilled labour market. Higher skills mean higher paying jobs for all New Zealanders and their families.”

Mr Joyce says the results are especially pleasing as they have been achieved without big increases in funding. “Back in the 2000s the previous Government threw more and more money at tertiary education and the number of people achieving degrees stayed around the 20,000 mark. With a focus on performance and results we have lifted that now to almost 26,000 degrees with virtually the same amount of funding across the sector.”

The full table, Gaining Qualifications, can be viewed at: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/6272

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