Media Release 25 September 2001
attn: Education, Political, and Community Reporters
Wednesday 26 September will see monkeys dressed in academic regalia on the streets of Dunedin. It is the opening of a national student campaign to highlight the continuing effects of the last ten years' government underfunding of tertiary education.
Although the government has frozen student fees, it has failed to address the funding crisis in tertiary instutions. Ulimately the community pays for this underfunding through increased cost of services, barriers to participation, and graduate quality.
The monkeys are symbolic of the low quality graduates institutions will turn out if they continue to be underfunded. "Without an increased investment in education expect standards to slip in everything from doctors and teachers to computer analysts and city planners." said Ayesha Verrall, OUSA President.
Without proper funding New Zealand cannot expect to attract and retain high quality teaching staff. Without enough resources students cannot learn as well as at overseas institutions. Without the pressure of student debt students can maximise their study potential.
The theme for this national campaign is 'If You Fund Peanuts - You Get Monkeys'. It has a clear message for government "To improve the country through education the monkey madness must stop, investment in education must be significantly increased" said Ayesha Verrall.
Tomorrow's monkeys will feature OUSA President and health science student, Ayesha Verall, and Admin Vice-President and law student, Ben Hamlin, as well as volunteers from the Education Action Group. Monkeys will be found on the main street after 2pm.
Further Information Ayesha Verrall 021-345-368 OUSA President 03-479-5332
Andrew Campbell 025-868-677 New Zealand University Students' Association Co-President
Mark Baxter 021-1146-753 OUSA Campaign Coordinator