The Herald reports:
The Government has spent about $236 million putting more than 41,700 students into fees-free tertiary education, but total student numbers have fallen slightly compared to a year ago.
Yep a drop in numbers, despite fees being free. Labour’s policy will cost $1.2 billion a year and it is not leading to any increase in tertiary study. It is just a massive wealth transfer to the future wealthy.
Think how much good you could do with $1.2 billion a year in areas of need – the drugs Pharmac could buy with it, the extra operations you could fund.
The number of equivalent fulltime university and polytechnic students was flat compared to August 2017, while actual numbers decreased by 0.4 per cent, or 1174 fewer students – mostly from wanānga.
Industry Training Organisation enrolments increased by 0.5 per cent in Standard Training Measures, but actual numbers fell 1.2 per cent, or 1228 fewer learners.
This was mainly due to a 7 per cent decline in industry training enrolments compared to a year ago, offset by a 10 per cent increase in apprenticeships.
But the Government thinks this is a huge success:
The Government praised the numbers as showing the policy was tracking well, but National has called the policy untargeted, middle-class welfare.
“There are 2400 fewer students in tertiary education and training than a year ago,” National’s tertiary education spokesperson Paula Bennett said.
The level of waste in this Government is unbelievable.