3. Will TOP make tertiary education free?
The evidence shows that the return on early childhood education is higher than that on tertiary education, so TOP’s priority is to invest there. Early childhood education also has a bigger impact on reducing inequality and ending the intergenerational trap that vulnerable families are in; a greater investment there ultimately means more people from poor backgrounds can achieve their potential, including going on to tertiary education. Indeed there is evidence that tertiary education is significantly askew of what we should expect from it – so the last thing we should be doing is increasing demand for a product that is not well enough aligned with the needs of business and labour.
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