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Free trade in education already failing students

Free trade in education already failing students

Free trade is already failing students says the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) as they co-host the launch of the ARENA booklet Free Trade at Any Price.

“In this document, ARENA examine the threats posed by the WTO Doha negotiations,” said Roz Connelly, NZUSA Co-President. “Competition amongst tertiary education providers currently in New Zealand is already failing far too many students.”

“Thirty four Private Training Establishments have less than half of their students successfully finishing their courses, according to data released to us by the Tertiary Education Commission under the Official Information Act, “ said Connelly. “In nine PTEs, less than half of their students are even completing their courses, let alone passing.”

NZUSA warns against opening up the New Zealand education “market” to any more providers who fail the majority of their students.

“Public tertiary education is already under funded and threatened by user charges, “ said Connelly. “Our public universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and wananga already have to compete with private businesses who are receiving ridiculous amounts of public funding. Under further trade liberalisation in the form of GATS, the future looks even worse for our public institutions.”

Roz Connelly will be introducing Dr Jane Kelsey at the launch of ARENA’s (Action, Research and Education Network of Aotearoa) Free Trade At Any Price. The Doha Round of Negotiations, edited by Dr Kelsey with contributions from other researchers, economists and activists.

The launch will be held in Wellington at Turnbull House, Bowen Street from 5.30-7.30 on Thursday 31 July.

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