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Govt Opens Door to Free Trade In Tertiary Ed.

Government Opens Door to Free Trade In Tertiary Education


The New Zealand University Students’ Association is concerned that today’s decision by the government to lease the former Central Institute of Technology Heretaunga campus in Upper Hutt to an international provider of tertiary education, Campus Group Holdings, will open the floodgate for international private providers to come into New Zealand.

“The implications of this decision under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) for public education are huge. Under GATS an international provider cannot be treated differently to local providers, this will mean more precious public resources could be siphoned away from our public institutions to support private businesses,” said Chambers

“Negotiations about equal treatment of foreign private providers to domestic public education are ongoing. Campus Group Holdings could be eligible for government tuition subsidies regardless of the Minister’s assurances to the contrary,” said NZUSA Co-President Charlie Chambers.

“The agreement the government has entered into with Campus Group Holdings is a dangerous precedent that places short term international investment over the long term future of our own public tertiary education system. It is a short sighted and ill conceived decision,” said Chambers.

ENDS

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