New data released today by the Tertiary Education Commission shows that the Government’s flagship Fees-Free policy has been a major flop, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
The data shows that, despite the Government pouring $275 million into the programme this year, the number of equivalent full-time students at university has actually fallen by 0.3 per cent.
“The Government claimed Fees-Free would break down financial barriers to education.
“It expected a 3 per cent increase in numbers this year, equating to about 2000 additional students.
“The policy has clearly failed to achieve what it set out to.
“In reality, Fees-Free is providing free degrees for tomorrow’s elite.
“The Government is subsidising higher education for kids from well-off families who would have gone to university anyway and who will earn between $1.3 and $4 million more over their working lives than non-graduates.
“ACT believes students should bear at least some of the cost of their education and that any financial support from the government should be targeted at those who genuinely need it.
“It’s not too late for Chris Hipkins to admit he got it wrong and reverse course”, says Mr Seymour.