The Green Party says the Productivity Commission’s tertiary education recommendations would be a radical ideological experiment with a whole generation of students.
The Commission’s report, released today, proposes bringing back interest on student loans and more deregulation of tertiary education.
“We simply don’t think the future is that bad for tertiary education," said Green Party tertiary spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
“Despite the lowest per-student funding in the OECD, all our universities are highly ranked internationally and have high quality teaching and research.
“We welcome the proposal for a higher repayment threshold for student loans and a progressive repayment schedule, which are core values of Green Party policy.
“National needs to rule out the more extreme recommendations in this report, including the proposals to remove the fee maxima.
“What Kiwi students need is proper funding, quality assurance and a clear focus on helping them make good, informed choices about their tertiary education.
“Some aspects of the report are worthwhile - for example, improving outcomes for Maori and Pasifika students, and more work on career education and the pathway from schools to tertiary education.
“It’s also clear that the Performance Based Research Fund doesn’t incentivise investment in teaching and contributes to a ‘one size fits all’ approach for academics.
“Universities are run for the public benefit, and they need to be given proper funding, oversight and quality assurance to make sure that they are delivering good results for all learners”, said Mr Hughes.