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Universities Support Tertiary Savings Scheme

May 10, 2005

Universities Support Tertiary Savings Scheme

Universities have welcomed the Government announcement that expressions of interest will be sought from groups interested in providing a tertiary education savings scheme.

Their representative body, the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, supports the proposed scheme on the basis that it will encourage saving to meet the costs of tertiary education.

NZVCC chair Professor Stuart McCutcheon says the reality is that students and their families will have to continue to share some of the tuition costs involved in tertiary education. This is not only the situation in New Zealand but also in many other countries seeking to increase tertiary education participation.

“Universities do acknowledge that for some students it will not be possible to save up for future study. People in this situation will continue to be supported through scholarships and the student allowance system. However, given the low participation rates of students who are disadvantaged by socio-economic status, more needs to be done in this area.”

The NZVCC has supported the proposed tertiary education savings scheme through its development stages. Earlier this year the Committee said the scheme was essential to break the impasse over the continuing controversy around student loans. Public concern over loan scheme debt obscured major issues facing tertiary education, including appropriate recognition of universities’ key role in economic development.

Professor McCutcheon says there is a real need for increased Government investment in universities so that they can deliver enhanced economic and social outcomes for all New Zealanders.

ENDS

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