The federal government has got New Zealand offside with its proposed tertiary education changes.
Next week’s federal budget will include measures to claw back $2.8 billion from the sector by increasing student course fees and imposing an efficiency dividend on universities.
But the government also plans to deny commonwealth subsides to NZ students, meaning they will have to pay full fees from next year.
NZ Prime Minister Bill English is upset he wasn’t informed about the plan.
“We’re pretty unhappy about it,” he told reporters in Wellington on Tuesday.
“We want a serious discussion with them about where they’re headed with this policy, rather than announcements that are made either without telling us or at short notice.”
NZ Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee will be “conveying our unhappiness” when he visits Australia next week for talks with his counterpart Julie Bishop.
Once the changes are in force, NZ students in Australia will be offered access to income-contingent loans to help support their study.