A New Zealand-first pilot programme for bringing tertiary students up to speed with financial literacy could be rolled out nationwide if successful.
This morning Visa announced a partnership with Porirua's Whitireia Polytechnic, funding up to 15 tutors to attend an advanced financial education course.
The idea stems from a joint research project between Visa and the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income, which investigated the state of financial education in New Zealand.
One of the key findings of the research was that most tutors were teaching financial literacy on the basis of their own personal experience, rather than from any formal training.
Only 47 percent of financial literacy tutors had received training or professional development, and what they had been given was not always directly linked to financial literacy.
Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan said the research also found that few programmes were properly evaluated to see if they were effective.
In response, the results of the Whitireia pilot will be directly measured by shifts in financial literacy amongst both students and tutors.
"This pilot programme provides a unique opportunity to develop a best practice programme that can be rolled out across other tertiary education providers, ultimately impacting thousands of Kiwi students," said Crossan.
Whitireia chief executive Don Campbell hoped the benefits of the programme would be "far-reaching", helping students and their families make good choices in the future.
Visa's New Zealand manager, Sean Preston, said the company was excited about the partnership, the likes of which represented a "vital step" toward a more financially savvy New Zealand.