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Quality public tertiary education for all New Zealanders is what’s needed

The Draft Productivity Commission Report looking at new models of tertiary education poses risks for students and working people if the recommendations to open up tertiary education to increased private provision were to go further.

CTU Secretary Sam Huggard said “The recommendation of vouchers for tertiary education will take away opportunity for everyone by opening up tertiary education to competition and fragmentation. Under a competitive model students and working people shoulder the risk.

“Tertiary education must be based on a model of opportunity for all.”

“The recommendations to reintroduce interest on student loans will increase the costs for students enrolled in tertiary education and will not improve equity or access to learning.”

“There are some good points made in the Draft Report about groups who are currently missing out from tertiary education especially Māori and Pasifika students. And the recommendation that would allow students to move across and between different learning courses and institutions will be welcome. But meeting those needs will be through a strong and stable tertiary education system – and not by increasing risk and decreasing regulation.”

“There are some great things happening in many of New Zealand’s tertiary education institutions. What we need are the conditions in the Universities, Polytechnics and Wānanga that allow all New Zealanders to learn and do well – rather than opening up our good tertiary education system to more private and experimental provision – which has all too often been shown to fail. New Zealanders deserve a world class, quality education system,” Huggard said.

See the Productivity Commission Inquiry into New Models of Tertiary Education.