Monday, September 14, 2015

Universities are going to hate this aren't they?

Just announced

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has today announced that from 2017 all Universities, Wānanga and Polytechnics will be required to publish information about the employment status and earnings of their graduates broken down by specific degrees and diplomas.
“This Government is committed to providing better information to assist students’ decisions. This is important so students can make the most of their time in tertiary education, and because of the significant investment students and taxpayers make,” says Mr Joyce.

This is a great move. User-pays has incentivised universities to get more bums on seats and, in some areas,  dumbed-down the level of  learning and graduate. But I don't think throwing out user-pays is the solution.

My son (in his last year at Uni) said, "I am going to become a statistic". I observed probably "compulsorily" as with other government surveys. At least this survey will provide really useful information.

Update: A reader sent the following graph which shows 'earning advantages from tertiary  vs secondary education ratio'


Damon Whitten said...

Be interested in how they are going to collect the data? Don't Uni's and Polytechs already have to justify their programmes by establishing need?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I am guessing a survey will be designed and administered by Statistics NZ (or questions added to an existing Labour Force survey though that would omit ex-students working outside of NZ), but I could be completely wrong. Don't know the answer to your second question.

Eric Crampton said...

Hard for universities to do this on their own as they can't easily get outcome data on students after graduation. Stats NZ can do it through the IDI pretty easily.

Will quibble over the user-pays bit though. Under 0% loans, the govt is on the hook for a pretty big chunk of tuition as well.

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show NZ needs more inequality, not less - if we are at all serious about "rebalancing" the economy towards higher value exports.

Or rather - given NZ's natural position in the world economy, we only need about 100,000 people her to run the farms, all else is a joke, so basically almost everything we "spend" on education (or as Eric put it: everything that is ripped from the 5% of actual nett taxpayers) is pretty much completely wasted.

Anonymous said...

Hard for universities to do this on their own as they can't easily get outcome data on students after graduation.

All universities have been collecting this data for years, cos Joyce told 'em to, and because they want to track their alumi to beg for donations.

What the data shows is that with pretty much any NZ degree, you'll be better of in OZ (1.34), UK (1.56) or US (1.74) than staying in NZ. In other worse: any graduates that stay in NZ are lazy losers, and there's no way the massive nets-taxpayer investment in education can be justified.

Blair said...

These statistics as a measure of the quality or advantage of tertiary education are almost meaningless. At best, they may display a measure of income inequality in their respective countries. I'm pretty sure that an elitist, class-structured society would display a large advantage to tertiary education, but one where tertiary education is sought and graduated from on merit alone may only show a slight advantage. A society where plumbers and tradespeople attract top dollar by comparison to lawyers and librarians is not necessarily in bad shape.

Jamie said...

Saw this and thought you'd be interested Lindsay


"Many social sciences and humanities faculties in Japan are to close after universities were ordered to “serve areas that better meet society’s needs”.

"Of the 60 national universities that offer courses in these disciplines, 26 have confirmed that they will either close or scale back their relevant faculties at the behest of Japan’s government".

"It follows a letter from education minister Hakuban Shimomura sent to all of Japan’s 86 national universities, which called on them to take “active steps to abolish [social science and humanities] organisations or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs”.

"The call to close the liberal arts and social science faculties are believed to be part of wider efforts by prime minister Shinzo Abe to promote what he has called “more practical vocational education that better anticipates the needs of society”.

"However, it is likely to be connected with ongoing financial pressures on Japanese universities, linked to a low birth rate and falling numbers of students, which have led to many institutions running at less than 50 per cent of capacity".