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Mallard Labelled A Coward By Students

Mallard Labelled A Coward By Students

A small number of Victoria University students who questioned Minister of Education Trevor Mallard over student debt were manhandled this afternoon by security and the Minister himself, said Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) president Amanda Hill today.

Mr Mallard was speaking at the PSA Congress, held at Victoria University in the Student Union Building. Members of the PSA were given leaflets outlining the issue of fee increases at tertiary institutions before the Minister arrived. They did not encroach on the presentation itself.

“The Minister was asked if he knew the total amount of student debt in New Zealand after the congress – a figure that is certainly no secret” said Hill. “He claimed to know the amount to the 30th of June, but was not willing to disclose it”.

When Mallard was labelled a coward for avoiding the question, he wrestled the megaphone from a student. The students present expressed the belief that the Minister did not know how much students owed in total since the loan scheme was introduced.

“A large number of students end up working in the public sector, paying off student loans” Hill said today. “Mallard shows absolutely no interest in the issue”.

The office of Steve Maharey, Minister for Tertiary Education, had issued a statement saying that tuition fees should not rise above the cost of living – after the Victoria University Council increased fees by 4.5%.


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