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Thanks, But No Thanks - Again.

Media Release
Otago Polytechnic Students' Association

Thanks, But No Thanks - Again.

Otago Polytech students are once again disappointed with the government's budget. Despite Labour's last election promises to improve the situation of tertiary students this budget has again failed to deliver any substantial improvements to the problem of student debt.

Government is to take more responsibility in the fee setting process.

"OPSA has always advocated government responsibility for fee setting but fees are only part of the student debt problem, the ineligibility of the vast majority of students to allowances has not been addressed." said OPSA President, Phil Baskerville, today.

Tertiary education is to get an extra 4.5% per student funding to help maintain fees at the current level.

"This is far from enough - it has failed to deliver anything for the 80% of students who are still not entitled to a living allowance, and are otherwise forced to also add $6,500 to their student debt every year." said Mr. Baskerville.

OPSA has collected signatures from hundreds of students calling for a universal allowance this week.

To sum up the budget Mr. Baskerville concludes, "While things are slightly better than under the last government, per student funding has still decreased and this government has failed to invest enough in education to remove significant financial barriers - we need substantial fee reductions and universal allowances."

OPSA also has some concerns about the restructuring of the EFTS model that will separate teaching funding from research funding. "This could have grave consequences for the country's already under-funded Polytechnics."

Further information

Phil Baskerville President 477-6974 / 021-021-610-056

Michelle Watt Vice-President 021-1121789

Mark Baxter Student Liaison Officer 021-1146-753

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