Tertiary education: changes needed now

By now it must feel like we are starting to beat a dead horse covering the shortcomings of the government’s tertiary education policies. However, every month new data continues to be released which strengthens our position even more. The current system appears to be slowly failing, and fees-free has done next to nothing to save it. If we want to improve tertiary education outcomes in New Zealand, the sector requires adjustments to the system beyond lowering the costs for students.

Fees-Free: Grades are out

The tertiary education sector took a swift turn to the left in late 2017, as highlighted earlier this year with the implementation of the fees-free tertiary education policy. Half a year on, and what has the policy got to show for itself? A lot of money spent, not much change to student numbers, and a complete lack of targeting skills needs.

Where can we find more skilled workers?

We have heard a lot recently about the struggles to meet labour demand in the regions . With a tight labour market and low unemployment rate, stories of employers being unable to find enough workers are becoming increasingly common. This article looks at immigration, one of the key ‘cogs’ to helping address skills shortages. More specifically, we look at how the proposed ‘Regional Skills Shortage List’ could provide the necessary workers throughout the country.

The migration levels we should be targeting

Infometrics estimates that over the coming decade, net migration of between 10,500 and 16,600pa appears to be appropriate to maintaining New Zealand’s population growth relative to world growth. However, with net migration currently sitting at 72,300pa, a gradual approach to pulling back the numbers means that it could be seven years or longer before net migration sits within this range.