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Sponsored Fees a Victory for Competitive Education

Sponsored Fees a Victory for Competitive Education

The courses with sponsored fees being offered by Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) are an excellent example of business and tertiary education providers working together, and highlight the failures of the NZ University Students Association (NZUSA), according to the president of ACTivists, Gavin Middleton.

"Contrary to what NZUSA would like to believe, SIT has not eliminated fees. Fees are being paid by a local trust, supported by Invercargill businesses. Students in Invercargill will have capitalist businesses to thank for their sponsored education, rather than the student unionists who have no viable plans and precious little mainstream support."

"Businesses support the scheme because they hope to receive profits from the students SIT attracts to Invercargill. This is a win-win situation that would be unavailable if NZUSA had their way. While years of radical student activism has won nothing for the students of Invercargill, competition for students has delivered."

Mr Middleton also said "what makes the SIT example particularly interesting is that the fee scheme has been negotiated at an institute where the students association has voluntary membership."

"NZUSA has long claimed that the only way to get the cost of education down is to retain compulsory membership of student associations, yet no compulsory students association has been able to produce a scheme such as this."

Mr Middleton went on to say "NZUSA have also tried to use the economic success of Ireland and Sweden to bolster their floundering arguments for free education."

"Ireland has one of the largest private school sectors in the world. Private schools are eligible to receive public funds, under a model very similar to voucher funding" Mr Middleton said.

"Of course, education vouchers, which would let parents instead of bureaucrats decide where children went to school, is hardly the policy of this Government. Instead, the Government and NZUSA both oppose public funds being spent on private providers, meaning that only children of the rich can afford the high quality or specialist education offered by many private schools."

Mr Middleton said that instead of alienating businesses by maintaining their ideological left-wing crusade, NZUSA should be encouraging these win-win partnerships between enterprise and education.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Gavin Middleton (+64) (021) 505495 president@activists.org.nz http://www.activists.org.nz


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