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Figures show inequality in tertiary participation

Government figures show continuing inequality in tertiary education participation

Students are calling on the government to address the inequities that Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey today admitted are proved by new figures about participation in tertiary education.

"The new figures show that participation by Maori in wananga has increased significantly, but there has been no such increase in participation by Maori in universities or in postgraduate study. These are areas that the Minister himself considers crucial for driving the knowledge economy", said New Zealand University Students' Association Co-President Fleur Fitzsimons.

"The government must ensure that there is representative participation in tertiary education, so it does not become the domain of the rich. The best way to make this happen is to lower fees and introduce a universal student allowance", said Fitzsimons.

"Unless we have participation at all levels of tertiary education by a wide range of New Zealanders, tertiary education will increase inequality", said Fitzsimons.

"Students need a decent living wage from the government to ensure that they can continue to participate in tertiary education. Otherwise they are forced to drop out because they cannot balance study and paid work commitments', said Fitzsimons.

"Students want to see the government put its money where its mouth is. With a record Budget surplus, the government must immediately invest in increased access to student allowances and lower fees so that all levels of tertiary education can start to be considered affordable and accessible", said Fitzsimons.

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