$1.2 billion a year for a 0.3% increase in enrolments

Radio NZ reports:

Universities New Zealand, which represents eight universities, said official figures from the Tertiary Education Commission showed their student numbers by end of April 2018 were 0.3 percent higher than at same time in 2017. The increase figure covered all domestic tertiary enrolments.

Labour’s free fees policy will cost $1.2 billion a year when fully implemented. It is not leading to any significant increase in enrolments (the stated rationale for it) but instead is a huge wealth transfer to the future wealthy. The average graduate will earn $1.6 million more in their lifetime than a non graduate and Labour is spending $1.2 billion a year on them, rather than on funding the health system or early childhood education or law & order.

The policy would not have encouraged students from poor families to attend university, Prof McCutcheon said.

“If you’re trying to get students from disadvantaged communities into university, what you should do is focus on those students, at least in my view, not reduce the cost of attending university for students who come from relatively well-off parts of New Zealand,” he said.

Exactly. Targeted assistance would be far better than this hugely expensive failed policy.

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