Labour has confirmed it will not extend the fees-free programme for tertiary education to cover any more years of study if elected this year.
The party’s education spokesman, Chris Hipkins, said following Covid-19 the focus would stay on encouraging and reforming vocational education.
The 2017 election policy was originally scheduled to extend to two years of academic study in 2021 and three by 2024, but this has now been indefinitely put on ice.
Just another Labour failure. The policy did nothing but transfer wealth to future lawyers and accountants. Labour should be ashamed of it, and at least they have ditched extending it as they promised.
They said it would allow more people to undertake tertiary education. They even had one of the official measures of its success to be increased participation.
But guess what happened?
In 2017 there were 343,590 students enrolled in tertiary education.
In 2019 it dropped to 328,075.
Yes they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to see a 4.5% drop in enrolments!