You are here:  Home  >  24-7  >  Current Article

First year of the Fees Free policy

By   /  June 12, 2019  /  Comments Off on First year of the Fees Free policy

    Print       Email

Source: New Zealand Government

Students have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in loan borrowing as a result of the Coalition Government’s first-year Fees Free policy, final figures show.  

“More than 30,000 fewer students borrowed to pay tertiary fees last year, compared with 2017, saving them $194.2 million,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“That’s a sizeable chunk off the cost New Zealanders face when embarking in in post-school education and training, and it means that once they’ve finished they’re much better placed to get on with life without a huge debt burden weighing them down.” 

In total, over the first year of fees-free tertiary education and training, 47,019 students and trainees received tertiary education that was fees-free, Chris Hipkins said.

Of that total:

  • 36,116 attended tertiary education institutions (universities, institutes  of  technology and polytechnics – ITPs, and wānanga).
  •   6,973 attended private training establishments.
  •   4,845 undertook training through industry training organisations.



(*Note this is a difference of 915 due to some learners enrolling in more than one place)

Fees Free appears to have stabilised a decline of overall student and trainee enrolment numbers over the past four years, the result of a continued strong economy and more people choosing work over study, Chris Hipkins said.

The number of equivalent full time students (EFTS) studying at level 3 or above was 203,510 EFTS in 2018 compared with 204,157 ETFS in 2017.

This compares with a drop of 10,040 EFTS from 214,197 to 204,157 ETFS between 2014 and 2017.

The number of people training as apprentices increased by 4445 EFTS (10%) on 2017, to 45,350 EFTS, while the number of industry trainees fell by 9.6%, Chris Hipkins said.

“While enrolment numbers appear to have stabilised for the sector as a whole, university enrolments increased by 1212 EFTS, but for ITPs it was a different story with an overall decline of 964 EFTS. 

“We know there are long-term issues with the business models of many ITPs and we also need to increase the number of apprentices and industry trainees to tackle our long term skills shortages in a number of industries.           

“That’s why the reform of vocation education we are working on is so important and why we are reprioritising $197 million from Fees Free to support the process.”  

Ministerial briefings and other relevant documentation can be found here, here and here.  


    Print       Email

You might also like...

Quality Building Award 2020 Now Open for Nomination

Read More →