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Business Roundtable misguided on student fees

Business Roundtable misguided on student fees

The Education Forum report released today advocating fee increases and further privatisation of the tertiary education system is backward, visionless and out of touch with public opinion according to the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA).

"The report is full of the same tired, failed policies of the 1990s that saw huge debts, massive fee increases, and too many of our best and brightest take their knowledge and skills overseas," said NZUSA Co-President Fleur Fitzsimons.

"New Zealanders want a tertiary education system that is for all New Zealanders not the elitist American model that the Business Roundtable propose," said New Zealand University Students' Association Co-President Roz Connelly. "According to a recent international study, New Zealand tuition fees are already amongst the highest in the world. The Education Forum need to forget their economic theories and deal with reality." said Connelly

The report claims that New Zealand is bucking an international trend to increase private costs of tertiary education. In fact, New Zealand led the world in user pays education, and is now trying to rectify the disastrous consequences.

"The New York University at Buffalo study into higher education costs shows that New Zealand tuition fees are amongst the highest in the world. For low cost public courses, we were third behind Chile and Hong Kong, and for high cost public fees we were fourth highest of the countries studied," said Fitzsimons.

"To improve access, government needs to take the opposite course of action to that recommended in the report - decrease fees and increase access to student allowances." said Fitzsimons

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