A third of tertiary students who took up the Government's flagship fees-free policy failed or withdrew from at least one of their courses last year, Ministry of Education data shows.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) did not have details on how much the Government had spent on courses students failed or withdrew from.

But based on the 13,770 students who failed to complete at least one course, and the average course cost of $2800 for Student Achievement Component, the figure could be as high as $40 million.

Further information from the TEC showed that fees-free students tended to be younger,

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