Riding The Knowledge Wave...If You Can Afford It
Riding the Knowledge Wave … if you can afford it The Aotearoa Tertiary Students Association (ATSA) has embraced the Knowledge Wave concept, but holds concerns that the very nature of the conference being held in Auckland is elitist.
“With the huge cost of attending the conference it is doubtful that all groups are going to be catching the wave” said ATSA National President Keith Clark. “ATSA is concerned that the knowledge society envisaged by this conference will be restricted to the type of people who could afford the cost of attending”.
“The conference organisers hardly took into account the perspective of students, who struggle to pay their daily bills, let alone the huge costs of the three day conference. Will this conference kick start the best foundation for a knowledge based society for all New Zealanders?” asked Clark.
“To create a true knowledge society we need to recognise and value a diversity of all knowledge – not just the kind found in universities” said Clark. “Universities have traditionally viewed themselves as the repository of elite knowledge. We need to break the old fashioned idea of a hierarchy of knowledge, and include the whole country on the knowledge wave.” ATSA considers that the new and exciting forms of knowledge - both traditional and modern - coming out of Polytechnics, Wananga and Colleges of Education are just as valuable as what exists within universities”.
“We need to get away from top-down models of valuing and stratifying knowledge, and instead utilise a wide range of knowledge. The first step should have been making this conference accessible to all, not just those with money, or the very few individuals sponsored to go.” stated Clark.
“Any knowledge society must first begin with an investment in its stakeholders – the students. We will only unleash our potential to catch the knowledge wave by enabling all people to participate in quality, low cost tertiary education.” concluded Clark.