Coronavirus: $20 million Government fund announced for tertiary students to get access to digital devices and internet connections

Tertiary students without proper access to digital classes will now be able to get online.

The Government has announced a $20 million fund to help eligible tertiary learners get digital devices and internet connections.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the money will go a long way.

"The Government wants to make sure that students in need can access support for distance learning so they can continue their studies." 

He said many educators have adapted well to teaching online amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The fund could help about 18,000 tertiary students, Hipkins said.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

"Many programmes are being delivered online in response to COVID-19, including courses like carpentry that are traditionally delivered on-the-job. As we rebuild the economy, we need a skilled workforce to keep our sectors such as construction moving forward."

Hipkins said hard work has been put in across the sector.

"Tertiary providers are best placed to work with their learners to identify those who are most in need during this time. Learners should contact their tertiary provider to discuss what kind of support they require."

Last month, the Government announced an $87m package to help primary and secondary school students learn from home amid the pandemic.

Hard copy education supplies and electronic devices have been sent out to some students and the Government has been working with internet service providers to deliver modems to households in need.

Earlier this week however it was revealed thousands of students were missing out on learning from home because 10,000 devices ordered by the Ministry of Education had been delayed.