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ERIC Number: EJ1214181
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0028-8276
Early Influences of the Fees-Free Policy on University Students in Aotearoa New Zealand
Sotardi, Valerie A.; Thompson, Elyse; Brogt, Erik
New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, v54 n1 p139-156 Jul 2019
In late 2017, the New Zealand Government introduced a finance policy in which citizens without prior tertiary experience could be eligible for 1 year of tertiary education without fees. The current study was conducted to examine new entrant students' self-reported influence of the Fees-Free Policy on their decision to enrol in university and whether such influence varied as a function of group characteristics. Further, the study explored relations between policy-related influence, students' early experiences during their transition to university, and semester-to-semester retention. With a cross-sectional design, participants were first-semester university students (n = 1028) from one New Zealand institution. Results showed that the policy influenced approximately one in three students in their decision to enrol in university, and 5.8% stated they would not have enrolled if the policy had not been implemented. Estimated policy influence differed across age, ethnicity, admission status, and priority learner status. Findings show that students who were more strongly influenced by the policy reported poorer academic self-efficacy, adjustment to university, subjective wellbeing, university satisfaction, and semester one Grade Point Average (GPA). Results indicate that students who were more strongly influenced by the policy were more likely to show interest in an early departure from the university within the first few weeks and less likely to continue their studies at the institution by the second semester. Discussion focusses on potential benefits and concerns involving the early implementation of this educational policy on students and their families/whanau, members of the tertiary sector, and Aotearoa New Zealand community.
Springer. Available from: Springer Nature. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand