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Students ask Brash to stop attacking Maori

Fleur Fitzsimons NZUSA Co-President

Students ask Brash to stop attacking Maori and start attacking unfair policies

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) is asking Don Brash to stop attacking Maori students and address real issues such as the fact that students are the only group in society that are forced to borrow for basics like food and rent.

"His party is responsible for a policy whereby students are means tested on their parents income until they are 25," said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of NZUSA. "This blatant age discrimination means two thirds of students don't receive a living allowance and are forced to borrow from the student loan scheme for their living costs."

"We support programmes which encourage Maori students to undertake tertiary study," said Fitzsimons. "Don Brash's threat to remove funding for universities that offer them is the biggest threat to academic freedom and institutional autonomy in recent times."

"Instead of attacking equity programmes designed to remove barriers to education, he should turn his attention to existing barriers and injustices such as lack of access to living allowances."

"Maori and Pasifika graduates have among the longest repayment times for student loans, if Brash was really interested in equality in tertiary education he would be talking about scrapping fees and introducing a living allowance for all students."

ENDS


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