Post-secondary package helps Kiwis get ahead

“The Government is committed to delivering a modern workforce by removing cost barriers to post-secondary education and training,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Beginning in 2017/18, funding provides for a combination of one year of fees-free post-secondary training and education, which will be available to around 80,000 people, and a $50 increase in student allowance and student loans weekly living costs, benefiting 130,000 people.

“These changes have been fully accounted for over a four-year fiscal horizon and out years.  

The operating impact will be $2.57 billion over five years – $342 million in 2017/18, rising to $628 million in 2021/22 and out years.

This is primarily made up of:

  • $50 million to fund the student allowance increase in 2017/18, rising to $134 million in 2021/22
  • $303 million to fund fees-free payments to tertiary education providers in 2017/18, rising to $397 million in 2021/22
  • $7 million for fees-free payments in industry training in 2017/18, rising to $20 million in 2021/22.

Some other minor costs and savings associated with the package bring us to our total spend. For example, in 2017/18 there is an additional $7 million in costs as well as a $25 million reduction in the operating costs of student loans.

“The total for each year is tens of millions of dollars lower than previously announced, after treatment of GST on fees-free payments was confirmed in finalising the detailed appropriation changes,” says Chris Hipkins.

“The overall total has been offset by a $434 million reduction in capital spending over the next five years as students borrow less overall, even as student loan living cost payments increase.

“This is a bold and affordable policy that invests in New Zealanders and New Zealand.

“The Government wants all Kiwis to be able to get ahead through affordable lifelong training and learning opportunities.

“We expect the policy to halt and then reverse the current trend of fewer people going into post-school training and education. This is great for our businesses, which need skilled workers.