A review by the Qualifications Authority shows the Government is paying more than it should for some tertiary education courses.
NZQA is improving its systems to deal with the problem.
Last year, the agency investigated long-standing complaints that some courses require less study than the Government is paying for.
The amount of study in a course is measured by credits - 120 equal a full-year of full-time study worth at least $4500 in Government funding.
The authority sampled 266 courses and found 9% had workloads at least 5% lower than suggested by their number of credits.
The worst case was a forklift licensing course with a workload 70% lower than its credit allocation.