Education reform bill in Parliament

By Adam Bennett

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Legislation which will improve the oversight of private tertiary education providers, tidy up New Zealand's raft of tertiary qualifications and improve administration of student loans and allowances gets its first reading today as Parliament sits under urgency.

The Education Amendment Bill (No 4) tightens up entry requirements and the ongoing performance of private training establishments to address concerns about the sale of qualifications and falsification of results in the sector.

The bill also contains measures intended to reduce the number of qualifications available for study while making the entire framework easier to understand for students, educational establishments and employers.

Finally, the bill will allow the Ministry of Social Development to obtain details from tertiary education providers it "reasonably" requires to administer student allowances. The amendment gives MSD the same ability to obtain information it needs to determine students' entitlement to the allowance as already exists with regard to student loans.

It also establishes a new offence for tertiary education providers who "knowingly" provide false or misleading information relevant to the administration of student loans and allowances.

- NZ Herald

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