NZ’s new Labour-led Government has promised some really significant changes to tertiary training and study, and school leavers look like the winners.
Free tertiary education is coming
Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party all committed to free tertiary education and training during the election campaign, with plenty of announcements made at schools and campuses. It’s a good bet these are on the way.
- Labour wants three years of free study or training for school leavers, starting from next year.
- A second and third year of free courses will kick in in a couple of years.
- Want a gap year or to earn some money before starting study? No worries. Your free first year will be when you choose to start.
Allowances look like going up, student debt down
It’s expensive to study, especially living away from home. Student allowances can really help. These are going to get boosted.
- Labour pledged to increase student allowances by $50 a week;
- Greens policy was a universal student allowance, at the level of the unemployment benefit, for full-time students in tertiary education;
- NZ First want a universal living allowance, and to review the student loan scheme.
- NZ First and the Greens both want First in Family scholarships (possibly $2000) and to write off student loan debt by graduates remaining and working in NZ.
More apprenticeships, training and even driving lessons
- All three parties in government want to increase the numbers of apprenticeships and training for school leavers.
- Labour wants to introduce $2,000 awards for top vocational students
- Labour’s School Leaver Kit offered all senior high-school students free driving lessons and driver's licence tests
- The three parties will cut back on immigration and on some foreign students working while here. This potentially means more entry level jobs and part-time work will be available.