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Hutchison: Private Tertiary Sector Must Get Fair Go

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Labour continues to show huge prejudice against private tertiary establishments (PTE's), to the detriment of quality, choice, and value for money, says National's Tertiary Education spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

"A classic example is real estate salesperson courses, where Labour refuses to fund PTE's for short courses but pays polytechnics large amounts in subsidies, irrespective of the outcome.

"We are not talking insignificant numbers. More than 10,000 people enrolled in real estate sales person's courses in 2005, and in 2007 the numbers almost reached 9,000.

"It is ludicrous that the Training and Further Education College developed, patented, and gained NZQA approval for a three week course but was given no subsidy for students, but the polytech that purchased that same course from the college, was given a $1,300 subsidy for each participant.

"This is about having a level playing field. It is about aligning quality of teaching and results with a fair funding formula.

"It is hardly encouraging choice for students when PTE's are unable to offer subsidised fees for students because they languish in a funding vacuum.

"The student is far more likely to take the course at a polytech, which receives up to $1,600 of government funding per student for a notional 280-hour course.

"Students need to be assured that courses are value for money and are of an expected standard - they must also have as wide a choice as possible. At the same time, all funding must be proved to be a good use of taxpayers' dollars.

"Labour's prejudice against PTE's appears to be in direct contradiction to all of these aims."

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