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Lessons from New Zealand

Pamphlet outlines risks of rapid market expansion.

High drop-out rates and a decline in public confidence were the results of New Zealand’s liberalisation of the higher education market, argues a report published on 28 July by the Higher Education Policy Institute.

According to Sam Cannicott, who wrote the report, New Zealand’s market liberalisation between 1999 and 2002 resulted in soaring costs and students enrolled in “programmes of dubious economic value”, which eventually led to the reinstatement of number controls. Scandals over low-quality courses, such as homeopathy for pets, undermined public confidence, while higher drop-out rates among alternative providers persist today, he warns.

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