The Government says its fees-free education policy is a sound investment, despite a slight drop in student numbers.
Around 50,000 students are expected to receive fees-free tertiary education this year, however, overall enrolment numbers have fallen.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins told Mike Hosking he hopes the policy will keep student numbers stable.
"They end up going on to have higher paid jobs, they send less time in unemployment [and] they tend to earn higher incomes."
"It's a good investment in the future, we get the money back through a more stable employment market and more skilled workers in the workforce."
LISTEN ABOVE AS CHRIS HIPKINS SPEAKS WITH MIKE HOSKING