“The change will see around $15 million paid to providers for 1,500 or more full-time tertiary places where providers have either been turning students away or carrying them without funding. This will be great news for many tertiary institutions, ITOs and students,” says Mr Joyce.
“I have informed the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) that from 2016, it can allow providers additional funds to cover up to 2 per cent more places above their initial entitlement (or 10 equivalent full-time places, where providers are small), on proof of student enrolment. Previously, providers had to apply for additional funding, a process that could take months or years if funding was not available from a lack of demand elsewhere.”
“There is sufficient government funding to cover demand for tertiary places in all current forecasts. But a stronger employment market and a decreasing tertiary-aged population meant that some providers were returning funding unused because they are unable to enrol the agreed numbers of students.”
“The change frees up that returned funding and give other tertiary providers the chance to grow if their courses are in demand from students. It will also allow more students to be accepted into their first choice study option sooner than in the past.”
Mr Joyce says the change won’t mean a return to the old “bums on seats” days of the previous Labour Government. “The government’s performance-linked funding model ensures that providers are focused on achieving results for their students, not just enrolments. This change provides an opportunity for providers to increase enrolments in growing courses without waiting for annual changes in the paperwork.”
“With the help of better information on post-study outcomes, students and their families are becoming more careful and deliberate about their career and study choices. This initiative will give providers more flexibility to respond to those changes in demand.
“Providers will be eligible for additional funding for student achievement component, Youth Guarantee Fees-Free, and New Zealand Apprenticeships places. All providers and ITOs are eligible for the additional places, except those that fail minimum quality and performance criteria, or that are under investigation.”
“The TEC is working on the details of these additional payments, and will be in touch with providers and ITOs by the end of the year.”