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Election 2011 - Party Policies - Education - Tertiary

Election 2011 - Party Policies - Education - Tertiary


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  • Remove the fee caps which currently apply to tertiary education institutions to allow those institutions to specialise and excel.
  • Reintroduce market interest rates for student loans, to ensure that those who most benefit from tertiary education pay a fairer proportion of their education’s cost.
  • Open the delivery of trade courses to wider competition.
  • Encourage links and cooperation between the business community and tertiary teaching institutes.
  • Set institution achievement standards to international benchmarks for cost and service quality.
  • Assist students to pay back student loans by cutting taxes and fostering a more dynamic economy. (more here)

  • Introduce a debt write-off scheme so that, at the end of studies, each year the person stays in Aotearoa and contributes through paid or unpaid full time work, a year's worth of debt will be wiped.
  • Establish a universal student allowance, at the level of the unemployment benefit, for all full-time students (including students aged 16 and 17 in tertiary education).
  • Review current funding to tertiary institutions to ensure that subsidies are sufficient to meet real costs and to provide sufficient funding.
  • Where tertiary education funding has to be prioritised it should be directed in the first instance to the public education sector (universities, polytechnics, wananga) and community based providers.
  • Review the impact of the export education sector on domestic education and amend legislation to ensure export education providers have an input on the rate of the export education levy and how it is to be spent. (more here)

  • Retain the fees maxima system at its current rate of 4 per cent to keep fees under control. It is currently under threat by this government.
  • Maintain university funding at the rate of inflation, at least, and increase funding as finances allow – to ensure our universities remain internationally competitive.
  • Invest $6 million to reinstate the recently cancelled post-doctoral fellowships for PhD graduates so they are supported into research careers in New Zealand instead of overseas.
  • Establish a scheme for better funding ‘brilliant’ scientists. Funding would be portable to allow scientists to take it to the most appropriate institution, purchase equipment, recruit staff and attract other world leaders in the field to New Zealand.
  • Repeal the changes put in place as a result of the Government’s voluntary student membership legislation.
  • Restore $13 million cut from Adult and Community Education (ACE) funding to improve access to adult and community education.
  • Restore $2 million to the Training Incentive Allowance. (more here)

  • Progressively reduce and then abolish tertiary education fees. (students pay back to society through their lifetime with higher taxation on better paid jobs)
  • Provide a wider range of options for students to reduce their debt earlier including participating in work for the social good.
  • Strongly support interest-free student loans.
  • Restore and emphasise the public good role of public tertiary institutions and shift the emphasis of research funding to match this role.
  • Shift the focus from quantity of qualifications to quality and relevance to the community.
  • Maori providers of tertiary education to be funded not as PTEs but as a Treaty partnership responsibility of the Crown.
  • Phase out funding for private tertiary institutions.
  • Require public tertiary institutions to plan together for the provision of courses to meet the needs of students and community development goals. (more here)

  • We will advocate for increased Māori representation on tertiary governance bodies, including mana whenua and Māori student representation.
  • Section 159G of the Education Act, which guides the operation of the Tertiary Education Commission, will be amended to refer to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • We will also increase access to student allowances, by reintroducing a universal student allowance – which will be set at the level of the unemployment benefit.
  • Student loan debt repayments should only start when you start earning 1.5 times the average wage. There will be a five year grace period for repayments after graduation. Student loans will remain interest free.
  • We will ensure Māori course and qualification completion is a criterion for performance link funding. (more here)

  • Up to 750 additional funded places in new and high performing private training establishments.
  • Specific funding of $17.5 million over four years for English as a second language courses for refugees and migrants.
  • Improving the value for money of pilot training, by setting a limit on the fees providers can charge students and excluding solo flight hours from the student loan scheme.
  • A 2 per cent increase in the funding rate for all degree and post-graduate courses.
  • Equalising the funding rate for post-graduate courses across universities polytechnics and wānanga.
  • Increased funding of $40 million over four years to raise the profile of New Zealand education overseas.
  • 40 additional medical places from 2012. (more here)
  • Continue to reform the qualifications system,with a target of around 1,200 qualifications by 2014, down from over 6000 in 2008.
  • Prevent students who borrow for tuition feesfrom signing up to a course of study that exceeds 2-2.5 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) in one year.
  • Maintain interest-free student loans
  • Work to double the value of export education services to New Zealand to $5 billion over the next 15 years.
  • Limit Level 1 and 2 tertiary provision to those who haven’t previously achieved Level 1 and 2 qualifications at school or at tertiary level –with the exception of ESOL and Maorilanguage courses. (more here)

  • Ensure that entrance standards remain high for universities to keep universities competitive internationally.
  • Encourage links and incentives between tertiary providers and industry to ensure that skills taught are relevant and required in the future labour market.
  • Ensure that tertiary education instructors undergo a minimum amount of training in teaching, and require teaching performance to be monitored and included as a factor in promotion decisions.
  • Ensure that degree courses are taught by staff actively engaged in relevant research.
  • Ensure that the intent of the University Act is not diluted by external audit of compliance areas, especially in non relevant research.
  • Promote greater awareness of the opportunities afforded by vocational training.
  • Encourage all young people under 25 who are not at school to either be “earning or learning” (i.e. in some form of education/training or work) and support initiatives such as the Mayoral Taskforce for Jobs. (more here)

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