Our $5b international education sector is a New Zealand success story, and in recent years has become a poster child for our outward-looking, globally-connected economy. But the sector is facing a steep learning curve as it seeks to adapt to lower international student arrivals and a world that is struggling to contain the spread of a pandemic.
New data released by the Ministry of Education shows that 7,033 school leavers had no qualification in 2018, up 615 people from 2017. The percentage of school leavers without any qualification increased from 10.2% in 2017 to 11.2% in 2018. Delving into the data we found considerable differences between regions.
Māori education outcomes continue to lag behind other groups in New Zealand. This lower attainment highlights a need to change what we’re doing to ensure that Māori succeed in education. Increasing Māori education outcomes will not only unlock more opportunities but will also give New Zealand the skills to enable us to prosper. A focus on Māori education outcomes is even more important given the growth in Māori in the working age population over the next 10-20 years.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins recently appeared before the Education and Workforce select committee to face a barrage of schooling related questions, but with little focus on tertiary education. However, just before his appearance, tertiary education data for 2018 and updated tertiary education forecasts were released, casting some light on the tertiary sector.
Lifting the skills and opportunities available for Māori has been one of the key priority areas of the government’s Wellbeing Budget. Plenty has been written about the socio-economic, health and other challenges facing Māori over the past couple of decades, yet many of these interrelated issues remain.
Replacing retiring baby boomers will cause headaches for Northland employers over the coming decade, but a large cohort of young Māori represent a key labour market opportunity.
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.
Infometrics is pleased to announce the release of our eagerly awaited Megatrends Report “From education to employment: Megatrends affecting NZ’s working environment ”.
Infometrics’ comprehensive regional forecasting model shows that between 2018 and 2022 there will be 600,000 jobs that need to be filled due to new job growth or replacement demand (people moving roles that need to be replaced).
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.