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University still living in the '90s

Bridge shows that University still living in the '90s

The University of Otago's ongoing battle to build an unnecessary bridge across the Leith shows the University is still living in the 1990s, instead of adapting to the new vision of tertiary education.

"The whole tertiary education sector is being turned upside down to get it to achieve national goals of learning and achievement - yet the university still has its blinkers on, and is full steam ahead, spending close to a million dollars on an unnecessary grandiose bridge. How does that relate to education for the future of New Zealand?" said Otago University Students' Association life-member Mark Baxter.

Otago University students and staff have spent much of the past decade opposing the bridge, calling on the money to be redirected towards educational purposes. In 1998 a proposal to build a similar bridge was declined and heavily criticized by the Otago Regional Council.

"Every year the university complains to government about how under-funded it is - yet they have a million dollars to blow on this unnecessary monument. The University should be approaching the development society that donated the money, and asking for it to be reallocated to something of real use to the university community" said Mr. Baxter.

Mark Baxter is one of many ex-Otago people who have been actively involved in the bridge campaign for many years, including the 1997 - 8 resource consent process.

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