Working in the HE weeds

There’s a house-keeping higher education bill in the parliament, which does a bunch of routine stuff, raises some money and includes the start of something that could be big

The Education Legislation Amendment (2022 measures number one) Bill keeps government ticking over. It includes,

* specifics on replacing the old CHESN student number with the newish unique student identifier

* clarifies student loan rules covering COVID time, at a cost to government.

* deals with NZ citizens qualifying for HECS

And then there is one that might matter, which appears to deliver on the previous government commitment to getting micro-credentials moving, (CMM December 8 2022, March 23 2022). It specifies that units taken as part of an m-c qualify for FEE HELP. “This will encourage student interest in micro-credential courses, incentivising providers and industry to participate in the micro-credential pilot.”

So what’s all this going to cost?, you ask. Nothing, at least for now. The  bill also includes abolishing the 10 per cent discount on students paying all or part of their HECS course costs up-front – which will have a positive cash impact of $144m through 2026.