Vote Tertiary Education Information Release

The following Ministry of Education and Tertiary Education Commission documents have been published as part of the Budget 2015 process. Where information in these documents has not been released, the relevant Official Information Act 1982 grounds for withholding have been noted.

This release of advice to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment complements the release by the Treasury of Budget advice to the Minister of Finance and Cabinet (external link) .

Points to note

Figures for the individual Budget initiatives and the size of the tertiary education Budget package vary across the different documents. This reflects the process of developing a Budget package, including decisions on parts of the package, changes in assumptions and the use of updated data at various points, and the need for the Government to balance spending priorities across different portfolio areas.

The documents are listed in chronological order (from newest to oldest) to make them easier to navigate. A summary of the tertiary education package announced as part of Budget 2015 can be found here.

Several papers include references to an initiative to fund 26 additional first year medical places as part of the Budget package, at a cost of $10 million over four years. This initiative was not progressed following doubts about whether New Zealand’s two medical schools were in a position to manage the flow-on effects from a further increase in medical student numbers (including the need for additional trainee intern places). The number of first year medical places has been gradually increased over previous Budgets from 365 in 2009 to 539 in 2015.

The documents include the following errors:

  • the report Budget 2015: Annual Maximum Fee Movement (document 9) includes a table on page 5 (Table 1) that refers to millions where the unit of measurement should in fact be billions
  • the report Engineering – 2015 Budget proposals (document 10) quotes the incorrect dollar amounts for the proposed volume increase in recommendation 2 (iv) – this should in fact be the amount given in Appendix A, which totals $12.8 million over four years
  • the report Update on Level Three and above EFTS Demand Forecast (document 11) includes part of a table on page 9 (Forecast EFTS against estimated funded baselines (number of EFTS above/below baseline)) which has not been totalled correctly – this did not impact on the figures in the other tables or the results of this analysis
  • the report Further advice on maintaining the student allowance parental income threshold (document 19) includes a table on page 3 which reports the wrong parental income threshold for 1992 – the figure given is actually from 1990
  • the report Developing a tertiary education Budget package (document 24) incorrectly states that current funding for the Annual Maximum Fee Movement expires in 2016 when in fact this funding expires in 2017 – this was corrected in subsequent advice.

These documents are budget sensitive and therefore have been made available in PDF format only. If you are unable to read them, please email

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