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March 4, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Not So Dumb After All

Who’s watching all the sheep?

 

For the first time a majority of New Zealanders have a tertiary qualification, according to a report released by the Ministry of Education in December 2012.

The report, Profiles & Trends 2011: New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Sector, is based on 2011 data which found that the proportion of New Zealanders with a tertiary qualification or higher had increased to 52 per cent as of 2011, up from 50 per cent in 2010.

This continues a general upward trend in New Zealanders gaining qualifications, particularly amongst young people aged 25-34, of whom 30 per cent now have a bachelors degree or higher. The report attributes this to the “very significant increases in access to higher levels of tertiary education from the 1990s.”

A 2012 OECD report on population percentage with tertiary qualifications showed that 46 per cent of New Zealanders aged 25-34 have a tertiary qualification, but this drops to 34 per cent of those aged 55-64.

Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce said in his press release that the report “shows we are making good progress.”

“[The Government is] delivering on our commitment to strengthen and up-skill the New Zealand labour market.”

However, NZUSA doesn’t see the trend as an unqualified success. NZUSA President Pete Hodgkinson said the trend was a combination of ‘credential creep’, “where higher and higher qualifications are required to demonstrate a graduate’s capacity” and ’massification’ of education. Massification refers to a higher number of students in higher-level education.

The Auckland and Wellington regions contain New Zealand’s highest proportions of graduates, each at 80 per cent; the lowest percentage of graduates is tied between Southland and the West Coast, both at 64 per cent.

 

Sophie Boot

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