New Zealand Labour Party

Access to qualifications slashed

The National Government has declared war on the next generation with a plan to axe two- thirds of New Zealand’s qualifications, Labour Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says.

In answer to Labour’s written Parliamentary question, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has revealed a plan to slash the number of Level 1-6 qualifications from 3,593 to 1,204.

“Steven Joyce’s ‘targeted review of qualifications’ is appropriately named – because the Minister has targeted the aspirations of young New Zealanders,” David Cunliffe says.

“National will attempt to paint this slash and burn exercise as making the qualification system ‘more relevant to some employers and industry’.

“However what this really means is higher student loans as students are forced to take more general studies – rather than highly targeted courses – to meet their professional ambitions.

“Now we know why Budget 2015 banks future ‘savings’ from lower tertiary student numbers. It’s because there’ll be thousands fewer qualifications for students to enrol in.

“Students know the path to their future success is through education, but now National is taking away two-thirds of their options,” David Cunliffe says.