If I had to name one issue which differentiates National and Labour, it is their views on using the private sector.
Labour has done everything possible to drive the private sector out of health, schooling, corrections, early childhood, and now tertiary education. Regardless of the huge benefits of having private sector involvement in these areas, Labour have passed laws and directives so that people die on waiting lists rather than have private hospitals use their capacity to reduce waiting lists etc.
The latest foray comes in tertiary education. Now there have been some huge scams in the tertiary sector – almost all from state institutions. So who does the Government go after – the private training establishments.
The Government has cut off access to student loans for students at a PTE whose course does not receive a government subsidy. These are courses and qualifications still approved by the NZQA.
And they have given only six months notice of this funding change.
As Norman LaRocque says: “If students are willing to pay for their own education – without subsidies – why do we then deny them access to student loans to help them finance that investment?
The taxpayer pays around 70% of the cost of state tertiary courses. With these PTEs the students were paying 100% – the only drain on the state was the temporary cost of student loans. But now that choice will be removed, and no doubt many PTEs will close.
This comes to light in the same week it is revealed state polytechnics are still running funding scams with IT courses which have no tuition, no assessment and no attendance.