Govt-Funded Student Enrolments up 7%: $32M Increase in Tuition Subsidies

  • Max Bradford
Tertiary Education

Government-funded tertiary student enrolments are up 7% in the year to August, Tertiary Education Minister Bradford announced today.

The enrolment jump has resulted in a $32 million increase in tuition subsidies for tertiary students.

Mr Bradford said the rise was another clear demonstration of the success of the Government's new policy of funding all New Zealand students enrolled in quality assured tertiary education providers.

"The number of funded student places has climbed from 159,021 to 170,290 following the removal of the cap on New Zealand student places.

"And it is pleasing that some of the students who are benefiting most from the Government's new policy are Maori," Mr Bradford said.

This year, Government funded enrolments at Wananga (Maori tertiary providers) increased by nearly 45%, from 1,216 to 1,759.

Colleges of education (up 9.1%) and polytechnics (up 4.5%) also had higher enrolments, while university enrolments slipped a little from 86,162 places to 86,145, Mr Bradford said.

Mr Bradford said a key benefit of lifting the cap on student places was that tertiary education providers no longer needed to carry 'unfunded places'.

Providers were funded on actual student enrolments. This meant that those with growing roles reaped the reward of an increase in funding.

This year, students at 149 private training establishments (up from 52 PTEs in 1998) will receive Universal Tertiary Tuition Allowances. The number of places funded at PTEs is up from 2,151 in 1998 to an estimated 9,430 this year.

Mr Bradford said the new "P" funding rate for students enrolled at private training establishments in 1999 would be $2,130 for Study Right students and $1,681 for Non-Study Right students - an increase of $56 and $44 per EFTS place respectively.

"This commitment to tertiary education comes on top of the improvement I have just announced to the Student Loan Scheme which will result in students paying less interest on their loans next year.

"The Government is providing both leadership and resources to help New Zealanders get the skills and education they need for the knowledge era," Mr Bradford said.

"Not only that, but we are deliberately fostering innovation. All providers of quality tertiary education are now eligible for funding which will follow the student.

"And, once again, we are recognising success. Providers such as Wananga, which are meeting the educational needs for students by expanding their enrolments are now being rewarded with further increases in funding.

"We are building a responsive, flexible, innovative tertiary funding system which will meet the exciting challenges and opportunities of the next century," Mr Bradford said.