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The cost of education

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, January 28th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: education, national, schools, tertiary education, useless - Tags: , , , ,

The costs of education are ballooning. At school:

School costs: $40,000 for ‘free’ state education

Parents of a child born this year can expect to pay almost $40,000 for their education, after big rise in costs over the last 10 years.

It’s prompted critics to claim there’s “no such thing as a free education”.

The price of a child’s state education has risen by 15 per cent since 2007, figures released by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) Planning and Education Index today show.

And if you’re flush enough to send your child to a private school, you can now expect to pay 48 per cent more than parents a decade ago. …


Families go without food to cover school costs

Palmy Revolution spokesperson Jenny Hall said people had been asking the organisation for help with expenses including stationery, uniforms and school camps. The organisation had distributed hundreds of second-hand uniforms.

She told Nine to Noon some families had to do without so they could meet the costs of getting children back to school.

“What is the worst part for them is having to prioritise whether they can feed their families or whether they are feeding themselves because they know they’ve got these costs coming up,” she said.

“A lot of parents are sacrificing their own food, their own needs, not being able to run their car – just to cover the costs of getting back to school.”

Some families were facing bills of several thousand dollars for uniforms, fees and school camps, Ms Hall said. …

Meanwhile for tertiary students:

Student loan debt ‘balloons’ with average student owing $21,000 – Labour

Student loan debt has “ballooned” under National, Labour says, with the average student now $21,000 in the red. The comments came after a Government stocktake of the student loan scheme was released in an annual report for the 2016 year, showing costs have tracked up while participation has declined.

“National are saddling future generations with huge debt and it’s getting worse not better,” Hipkins said, accusing the Government of trying to “sneak these figures out”.

“Declining participation rates are really concerning. If we are to provide all New Zealanders with the opportunity to adapt to the changing needs of the economy and society, and to fulfil their own potential, we need to see participation in tertiary education increasing, not decreasing.” …

Costs up, debt up, participation down – brilliant.

I expect we’ll get some Kiwiblog trolls parroting Farrar, that a student loan is “The best investment ever”. Farrar cites figures to the effect that “average increase in earnings from having a degree is $1.6 million”. This is pure spin and he knows it. The benefit after subtracting the costs of fees and lost earnings the benefit is around $1 million over a lifetime. But that is for university degrees on average (there is a lot of variation). And according to a recent OECD report our non-university degrees and tertiary qualifications (“Type B”) are “the most worthless in the developed world” (see discussion and clarification of this report). In short, far too many tertiary students are being stuck with huge (and increasing) loans for qualifications with minimal return.

National needs to do something to address spiraling education costs in both the secondary and tertiary sectors.

14 comments on “The cost of education ”

  1. Siobhan 1

    Another aspect of this is the lower wage non home owners who are heading into their late forties and fifties just as the kids are heading to university.
    They find themselves using any ‘spare’ cash to help support their kids through university, rather than being able to use those years to save for retirement.
    I notice this issue comes up every now and then in interviews with ‘the struggling classes’, such as the interview with those effected by the 50 cent an hour wage increase this last week.

    Labour are offering a ‘free’ 3 years of study, which is great, and goes some way to mitigate their role in the whole debacle, but my understanding is that covers the down-the-road, student loan aspect, not the actual reality of students from poorer families struggling to cover the here and now living/studying costs of students.

  2. Philj 2

    Education, like most government ‘services’ has become an income generator, or business opportunity. Charter schools, educating overseas students, migration, roading, broadcasting (remember the Government sell off of SKY), prisons etc…

    • saveNZ 2.1

      +1 Philj – ditch the neoliberalism ideology!

      Education should be about the education only! Not trying to turn a profit or subsidise the government.

      Increasingly, wealth is societal wealth, having an educated population – not lowering educational standards so that they can have more profit from more students.

      We need to bring back trade skills like building and plumbing for those that are not academically minded and not make everyone try to be a lawyer or business graduate.

      We need to have a more creative economy – and people who are doing what they want to do, not what they think they can make the most money from! The future is about that, because technology is going to take a lot of jobs in the future and those it can’t replicate are actually creative ones! The opposite of government policy.

      Nowadays the governments make everyone take out a loan for some course that used to be a paid position with on the job training! If you are on WINZ that is the new scam, force them off by making them do a course that they don’t want to do and take out the student loan. That is why we have such ‘low’ unemployment, – unemployed are now students.

    • The Fairy Godmother 2.2

      +100. I think the tertiary sector is shocking for this now. When I was young before student loans some
      courses such as teaching ones were capped. They took the amount of trainees they needed, picking the best trainees and paid them well with student allowances. When my mother trained in the 50s you were expected to work out a bond period. She got hers reduced for country service. I think something like this would be great. Students aren’t saddled with loans for a course that doesn’t necessarily lead to a job and government and student money is not going to the education industry to train people for non-existent jobs.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.3

      Agree with your accurate assessment Philj (and saveNZ/TFG). The tertiary education sector has morphed rapidly from a public service into a competitive industry; universities compete for students and are financially penalised for low pass/completion rates. Any ‘commitment to quality’ is now more lip service that reality; the real commitment is to growing, or at least maintaining income in the face of falling domestic student enrolments.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Costs up, debt up, participation down – brilliant.

    Working exactly as planned then.

  4. Whispering Kate 4

    The cost of educating children is just part of the entire education debacle.

    A starter teacher for primary age children is on $47,000 – a lot of young teachers are not returning to school this year and are embarking on new careers. The morale has gone out of their teaching career. They have no autonomy over their class of kids, cannot even spare 10 minutes in a day to teach them basic manners like please and thank you. Some kids are running ragged in the classrooms and cannot handle any sort of rebuke from the teacher, yelling and out of the control and not being able to handle discipline. There is no fun left in the classroom, no time for doing anything that is strictly not on the curriculum. One young woman 28 is not returning and has told one of my family that she knows of many others not returning as its not teaching, its now indoctrination of the syllabus and an obsession with scores for the department. She is at school at 7.30 in the morning and doesn’t leave until well after school has closed. I have no stats for what is happening but this woman was not bullshitting and my family member does not doubt her word as she knows her well.

    Doesn’t bode well for the future with a population of people not used to knowing what is right and wrong and not being to handle basic courtesy situations of every day life.

    • Lara 4.1

      I used to teach high school science.

      I will never teach again now, my practice certificate has expired and I have no desire to redo my 1 year post grad diploma.

      The main reason for stopping teaching was the disrespect shown by students. Who learned it from their parents. Parents with the attitude that teachers are teaching because they can’t do. That teaching is an easy option, with light hours and long holidays. That teachers don’t teach anything of use or value, and they’re incompetent.

      That and the crappy pay. I’m earning multiple times what I’d be earning as a teacher now. There’s no way I’ll take a massive pay cut for much longer hours and horrible working conditions.

      Still, I do miss the energy of teenagers and I did love my subject.

  5. Lloyd 5

    If we don’t educate our children who is going to take care of us in our old age? Only by having young, energetic, motivated young people with the ability to cope with a globally warming world will NZ have a chance of being able to keep the oldies in the lifestyle to which we have been accustomed. Graduates should have their debt repayments made by their employees. Government service should result in rapid repayment.
    Residence in NZ should also contribite to decreasing student debt, this would reduce brain drain.

    • Whispering Kate 5.1

      With the education they are getting at present Lloyd, the kids of today won’t give a damn about anybody let alone oldies. It will be a lawless couldn’t give a toss sort of a society. I see it every day, kids running amok in supermarkets and knocking people over etc. Of course I know that we as kids were not perfect but we did know our P’s and Q’s and basic common courtesy. I gave my parents a terrible time for a while there but I never ever treated my teachers with cheek and out of control behaviour. I like the idea that kids have to grow up and learn life’s lessons but not at the expense of treating their educators with no respect. The Government doesn’t have a clue what it is like at the coal face. Parents today also will be in for a hell of a ride when their kids are adolescents – they have my sympathy believe me.

  6. Incognito 6

    I think this is quite telling:

    MoE sector enablement and support head Katrina Casey said home education had not been inflation-adjusted or changed since it was introduced in 1990 because it was not intended to cover all the costs of home education.


  7. greg 7

    national aren’t going to do anything this is there ninth year the great promise of the brighter future has not been delivered its turned to a blighted future .

    housing bubble
    homelessness up
    household debt sky rocketing
    now education cost out of control/worthless qualifications and record student debt
    farmers trashing the water ways
    plus all those kiwis who were sucked in with low interest rates are going to loose everything

    thanks national thanks john key

  8. Kelly-Ned 8

    They have done something about the spiralling costs of education – they’ve frozen bulk grants for all public schools!! That saves them heaps.

  9. Observer Tokoroa 9

    The Way Ahead

    . Trump, Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, Little, Peters, Greens -do have quite a lot in common. They are concerned that wealth is going massively to too few.

    . They are concerned that millions of manufacturing jobs are being unnecessarily undertaken by low cost Asia at the request of domestic Corporations.

    . They are against untrammeled immigration which unevenly threatens earning power of citizens.

    . En Masse, people cling to the Right because the Right has access to the very wealthy Corporations and very wealthy Individuals. The Left languishes miserably because it has access to less and less.

    . In time the Right will have enslaved the Common Man so thoroughly that they will lose not only their wealthy glamour but their possessions and their heads.

    For the Planet does not belong to the wealthy.

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