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Govt shifts $55 million into more student places


Steven Joyce

12 October, 2010

Govt shifts $55 million into more student places

The Government will fund almost 3,000 more university student places over the next two years in response to high demand for full-time tertiary study, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

"Cabinet this week decided to invest a further $55m to create more undergraduate places for young people in universities in 2011 and 2012," Mr Joyce says.

"This is good news for students and their families. It's also good news for the wider economy as the very significant increase we expect in the number of university graduates from 2013 will help create a strong platform to support future economic growth. 

"The funding will provide another 1580 places next year and 1315 in 2012 above current projected funding levels. It follows 765 new university places the Government already announced in the Budget for 2011.

"The number of full-time places funded in universities next year will be the highest ever at about 119,000. This is over 7,000 more than in 2008. Across the core tertiary sector there will be about 16,500 more full-time equivalent places than in 2008.

"The Government was already expecting graduate numbers to be about 20 per cent higher by 2013 than in the 2000s and this extra funding will increase that even further."

The availability of extra funding for university places comes from changes announced last week to lift the performance and accountability of industry training organisations as well as reprioritise underspending in the area.

"In the current economic environment it is critical the Government gets the most out of every dollar spent. This shift in funding is part of this Government's push to get higher productivity out of the more than $4 billion we spend on tertiary education.

"It also reflects the nature of the economic cycle. As New Zealand recovers from recession there remains strong demand for full-time degree study and less demand for industry-based training. That trend will likely start to reverse again over the next few years. We are committed to keeping a close eye on these trends and responding to the training needs of New Zealanders," Mr Joyce says. 2012