Average cost of education soars in latest report

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jan 2018, 5:34AM

Average cost of education soars in latest report

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jan 2018, 5:34AM

The growing cost of education in New Zealand has been highlighted, in a new report from the Australian Scholarship Group.

More than 2000 families were surveyed for the study, which found the average cost of education has gone up more than 42 per cent in the past decade, almost twice as much as the 22 per cent wage growth in the same period.

The Reserve Bank's official inflation figure is 18 per cent for the same period.

But most of that increase is down to higher private school fees.

The survey by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) has found that the expected lifetime cost of a private school education for a child born this year, including uniforms, computers and travel as well as fees, has jumped by $14,000 since last year to $360,074.

In contrast, the lifetime cost of putting a child through the state system has actually dropped by $135 to $38,227, mainly because of cheaper computers.

 

ASG Chief Operating Officer Bruce Hawkins said families need to look very closely at ways to reduce the costs associated with education.

"Reach out where possible to seek help and support in meeting those costs and what we are seeing across the board is many families are having to make sacrifices in order to give the education to the child that they are wanting to do."

He said the increases are driven by inflation, wage growth for staff, and discretionary spending from schools.

"We are seeing schools invest more into infrastructure more into developing the curriculum and they are passing those costs back onto parents."

Wellington single mother Jenny Huang said the costs don't include sport, music lessons or extra tuition.

But she said the $1000 she spends on each of her two children's out of school activities is vital for their growth.

"To me, the essence of education is basically to inspire kids for them to see their potential. I want to expose my kids to as many activities as possible so they can find out what their potentials are."

She said increasingly schools are requiring children to bring their own electronic devices.

"I don't think a lot of parents, well a lot of single parents would have $500 just lying around, so you can just go to Noel Leeming's and say I want a new computer for my kid."