The Government is to fund almost 3000 more university student places over the next two years, following high demand for fulltime tertiary study.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says Cabinet this week agreed to invest $55 million to create more under-graduate places next year and in 2012.
Mr Joyce says the move follows more than 700 new places next year already funded in this year's Budget.
The number of fulltime places funded in universities in 2011 - at about 119,000 - will be the highest ever, he says.
He says the recession means fewer businesses are prepared to take on apprentices.