Big growth in student loan industry

The latest report on enrolment data from the Ministry of Education shows more New Zealand tertiary students are studying at higher levels, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

The report, Tertiary Education Enrolments 2012, shows a continuing increase in the number of students enrolling in degree and higher qualifications, particularly amongst students aged 18 to 24 years old.

In 2012, there were 3,700 more bachelors degree enrolments by domestic students aged 18 to 24 than in 2010 – an increase of 4.3 per cent.

“This is consistent with the data we saw in Profile and Trends last week, which showed a significant increase in the number of degree qualifications achieved compared to two years ago, Mr Joyce says.

Overall in 2012 there were 422,000 students (including international students) enrolled in formal study with tertiary education providers, which is 2 per cent less than in 2011. However, the number of full-time equivalent students was steady at 279,000, and the number of domestic full-time equivalent students was steady at 247,000.

“More students are enrolling full-time and at higher levels, while fewer are enrolling part-time at lower levels,” Mr Joyce says.

“The reduction in head count at lower levels reflects a policy to reduce the churn of lower-level short courses which achieved nothing for the student,” Mr Joyce says.

“The number of foundation-level qualifications achieved in 2012 (56,655) is 16.5 per cent higher than in 2008 despite a 31 per cent decline in level 1 to 3 enrolments over that period. Foundation learners are achieving significantly more than they were before, while those who already have a level 2 qualification are enrolling to study at higher levels.”

Other key findings from the report were:
· 20,900 (11%) more people were studying at degree level or higher in 2012 compared to four years ago
21,436 (16%) more equivalent full time students were studying at degree level or higher compared to four years ago
– 5,019 (9%) fewer full time equivalent students studied at levels 1 to 3 compared to four years ago
– Māori students accounted for 21% of all domestic tertiary enrolments in 2012, up from 19% five years ago.
– Pasifika students accounted for 9.0% of all domestic tertiary enrolments in 2012, up from 6.6% give years ago

“The Government is committed to increasing achievement in the tertiary sector, improving quality and better matching education to the skills needed in the New Zealand economy. We will continue to see more enrolments at higher levels while foundation-level learning will be reserved for those that really need that second chance to get on the ladder of achievement and higher wages”, Mr Joyce says.

“Having more people enrolling in higher levels of tertiary education shows we are making good progress towards strengthening and up-skilling our labour market. People with higher-level qualifications attract a very significant wage premium compared to those that don’t have qualifications. More higher-level qualifications helps ensure higher paying jobs for New Zealanders and their families.”

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