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Students call on Govt to follow the Irish

17 March 2005

Students call on Govt to follow the Irish this St Patrick’s Day

Students are calling on the Labour Government to follow the Irish and re-introduce a system of free education this St Patrick’s day.

“Ireland is a country of similar size to New Zealand and has had no fees for undergraduate courses since 1996,” said Andrew Kirton, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“If St Patrick was able drive the snakes out of Ireland then surely Trevor Mallard can drive fees out of New Zealand,” said Kirton.

Student debt is now $7 billion and New Zealand fees are among the highest fees in the world.

“The Irish have recognised that tertiary education is fundamental in promoting the social, cultural and economic well-being of a country and believe this is something worth investing in,” said Camilla Belich, Co-President of NZUSA.

“Given that 60% of student debt is from fees, we would urge the Government to look to Ireland and abolish fees in tertiary education,” said Belich.

ENDS

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