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ACT Policies Backward Looking And Visionless

The ACT party's opposition to the recommendations in the latest report of the Tertiary Education Commission, Shaping the System, are short sighted, lack vision, and will do nothing to further the aspirations of New Zealand students, according to Chris Hipkins, President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association.

"The change of direction announced in the TEAC report is a breath of fresh air after a decade of failed 'more-market' policies in tertiary education. Even the National Party has admitted that the market has failed to deliver real choice in tertiary education, why can't the ACT party face up to the realities too?" Mr. Hipkins asked.

"Mr Franks cites the Victoria and Massey University Design Schools competing in Wellington as an example of the benefits of a commercial approach to tertiary education provision. In reality, it has meant that scarce resources have been split in half, and students have suffered as a result,"

"While both Schools will no doubt have their strengths, there can be no doubting that if the resources were to be combined a higher standard of teaching could be attained,"

"Furthermore, Mr Franks' comment that graduates loyalty to New Zealand depends on how highly they are valued or paid is a further indictment on ACT's own policies, which would see students leaving tertiary study with huge debts having paid astronomical fees and having received little or no financial support,"

"Ultimately the ACT party's approach to tertiary education marks a draconian backward step to a time when only the wealthy elite could access education. Then again, serving the wealthy at the expense of everyone else seems to be the cornerstone of ACT party policy," Mr. Hipkins concluded.

ENDS

Chris Hipkins President Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (Inc.) Te Ropu Tauira o te Kura Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

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