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Major SFO probes rock tertiary sector

The scandal in Tertiary Education just keeps getting worse with three new Serious Fraud Office investigations into the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. 

“The Government has confirmed that there are at least three SFO investigations underway following  revelations of an SFO probe last week, but it will not name the providers.

An NBR report confirmed that a major probe is underway into NZX-listed Intueri, one of the largest providers of private tertiary education, which is alleged to have provided false enrolment data to the Tertiary Education Commission. 

“Steven Joyce now has to act. As a first step to cleaning up this sorry mess, he must come clean and name the other providers at the centre of these latest investigations. Students and staff cannot be left in the lurch by his failure to act. 

“While Labour announced a step change in policy on Sunday with our Working Futures Plan to provide three years of free post-school education, National’s oversight of the sector is in disarray as widespread rorting continues unabated. 

“This new scandal follows hard on the heels of a series of rorts last year that cost the taxpayer at least $25 million and led to SFO investigations at Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Manaakitanga Aotearoa Charitable Trust and Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre. 

“Add to that a Labour OIA where the New Zealand Qualifications Authority redacted the names of 27 out of 35 tertiary providers with “widespread or serious” educational delivery issues and it is no wonder that our national transparency rating is on the slide. 

“Our international education reputation is now in serious trouble. It is clear that there is something very wrong with the way our tertiary institutions are run,” says David Cunliffe.