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Tertiary enrolments in fees-free freefall

The Labour-led Government’s election bribe of fees-free tertiary education has been a complete failure, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Paula Bennett says.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ own numbers show there are 2,400 fewer students in tertiary education and training than a year ago.

“This expensive policy was designed to attract more students into tertiary education and it has completely failed.

“This policy is costing taxpayers $2.8 billion dollars and we’re going backwards. They should never have over promised and should be spending this money in education areas where it is really needed.

“Will they be going ahead with making the second and third years free as they have promised? It’s time to admit failure and put money where it is really needed.

“Universities have had only ten more students enrol, Wānanga have decreased by 1,188 and PTEs have decreased by 674.

“More worryingly, there are 4,740 fewer people undergoing Industry Training at a time where we’re desperately short of skilled workers.

“Chris Hipkins needs to admit that his flagship policy is a failure and redirect the billions of dollars to where it’s actually needed.”

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