First year students with no skin in the game

When Jacinda Ardern uttered those words “this year’s on us” just over a year ago, those of us with just a small clue knew exactly what would happen.? Students would sign up on a whim with no intention of seeing the year out.? Because it’s free, right?? No skin in the game.

As predicted by Cam a little more than a year ago, the policy did not work as intended.

David Seymour summed it up quite nicely:? Quote.?

“You’re going to get lots of tyre kickers just checking it out because they’ve got no skin in the game – they don’t have to pay any money at all now,” ACT leader David Seymour said.? End of quote.

Here’s the depressing reality, a year on, from A Newspaper😕 Quote.

The Government is potentially spending up to $53 million a year on its flagship fees-free policy for students who have either withdrawn from or failed tertiary courses.

And about 20 people who applied for fees-free this year could face prosecution for deliberately trying to access funding they were ineligible for, according to the Tertiary Education Commission.

The heads of the commission appeared before Parliament’s education and workforce select committee today and were grilled about the fees-free policy.

According to the latest numbers, released last month, 41,700 students had signed up for fees-free, expected to increase to about 50,000 for the full 2018 year.

Answers to written parliamentary questions reveal that there were 2619 students through to September who had enrolled in a fees-free course and later withdrew – though these students may have enrolled in other courses.

With an average of about $7000 spent on each student under fees-free, National MP Simeon Brown said that would amount to about $18m that the Government paid to tertiary providers for students that had later withdrawn.

National MP Nikki Kaye then asked about the students who failed courses paid for by the Crown.

“What are the people of New Zealand paying for? How many students have failed and effectively had their fees paid for by the Crown?”

Commission chief executive Tim Fowler said the average fail-rate was about 12 per cent – or about 5000 of the 41,700 students in fees-free tertiary education.

That would cost about $35m, assuming $7000 per student.

Brown said that would mean the Government had spent about $53m on fees-free courses that students had either withdrawn from or failed to pass.?

End quote.

What a shameful waste of taxpayer money. $53 million dollars that we might as well have flushed down the toilet. There were so many better ways to spend that amount of money. end quote.

Apprenticeships for builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers, all those skills that we need to build the 100,000 houses that Phil Twyford has promised us.

You will also remember that the government didn’t have $6.5 million for cochlear implants, and quietly cancelled the extra funding. I would much rather my tax had gone to help someone to hear than throw a handout to a spoiled brat who didn’t give enough of a damn to even bother finishing one year at university.