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Free Fees Success

Government Should Act On Southland

Free Fees Success

The success of the Southland Institute of Technology's free tuition fees scheme is solid proof that fees are a significant barrier to tertiary education that should be acted on by the government said the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) today.

The Southland Institute has announced that 3000 more people have enrolled in 2001 than did so last year, 500 more than the institute has space for. Local community trusts are meeting the costs of the scheme.

"SIT's success once again shows that fees act as a barrier to people accessing tertiary education. The government needs to act on this success and work quickly on reducing and eliminating fees across all institutions", said NZUSA Co President Andrew Campbell.

"The benefits of a barrier free education system are clear. The more people who access higher learning the more educated our society becomes. This will have both social and economic spin offs that will benefit everyone. Countries such as Ireland and Sweden have free education and their economies are booming", said Campbell.

"The extra students at SIT will be a boost to the Southland region. Free education would also provide a boost to other regions whose tertiary institutions are currently in economic difficulty such as Taranaki and Wairarapa Polytechnics."

"We encourage the government to take a hard look at the wide ranging and long term benefits to New Zealand of a free tertiary education system, and urge it to remedy the current funding deficit in the upcoming government budget", said Campbell.

ENDS


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