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Brash claims on university preference wrong

Brash claims on university preference wrong say university staff

Claims by National Party leader Don Brash that New Zealand universities have lowered their standards to enable Maori students to graduate are simply wrong says the Association of University Staff.

Dr Brash told Television One news yesterday that Maori New Zealanders are sometimes put into positions which they're not well qualified for, and asserted that non-Maori would think Maori graduates were incompetent on the basis of race.

AUS National President Dr Bill Rosenberg said there was absolutely no evidence to support Dr Brash's claim that standards for degree programmes varied according to race. "While Maori students may be encouraged into some courses, such as law, through entry quotas, they still had to attain the same academic standards as their peers to progress in their study and to graduate with degrees," he said. "Maori students earn their degrees in exactly the same manner as their non-Maori counterparts, and using the same assessment standards".

"Dr Brash's comments follow similarly inaccurate statements made recently about Tangihanga leave, and appear designed to encourage negative and racist attitudes toward Maori", said Dr Rosenberg. "Dr Brash's comments are ill-considered and dangerously divisive".

Dr Rosenberg also expressed concern that Dr Brash said he would not fund universities with racial quotas. Universities are already underfunded by comparison to their overseas counterparts and he questioned whether Dr Brash would attach other poorly considered conditions to funding if given the opportunity.

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