$50 million wasted

The Herald reports:

The Government is potentially spending up to $53 million a year on its flagship fees-free policy for students who have either withdrawn from or failed tertiary courses. …

Answers to written parliamentary questions reveal that there were 2619 students through to September who had enrolled in a fees-free course and later withdrew – though these students may have enrolled in other courses.
With an average of about $7000 spent on each student under fees-free, National MP Simeon Brown said that would amount to about $18m that the Government paid to tertiary providers for students that had later withdrawn.
National MP Nikki Kaye then asked about the students who failed courses paid for by the Crown.
“What are the people of New Zealand paying for? How many students have failed and effectively had their fees paid for by the Crown?”
Commission chief executive Tim Fowler said the average fail-rate was about 12 per cent – or about 5000 of the 41,700 students in fees-free tertiary education.
That would cost about $35m, assuming $7000 per student.

If people pay nothing towards something, they don’t tend to value it so much. It used to be us taxpayers pay 75% and students pay 25% which was about right. Now we pay 100% and of course the money gets wasted.

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