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Student Choice Welcomes New Tertiary Minister

*Student Choice Welcomes New Tertiary Education Minister*

31 October 2007

Press Release - Student Choice


Student Choice congratulates Pete Hodgson on becoming the new Minister of Tertiary Education after today's Cabinet reshuffle, and challenges him to allow students the right to freedom of association by introducing voluntary membership for all student associations.

Spokesman Mike Heine said today, "tertiary education is a tough portfolio. One achievement of this Government has been to acknowledge the existence of multiple stakeholders, all with varying viewpoints, and recognising their views when formulating tertiary education policy.

"What previous Ministers and Governments have failed to realise is that students are no different; our opinions are just as varied as any other part of society.

"The current laws on compulsory student membership do not reflect this. Instead, student associations and NZUSA claim to speak for all students when they lobby for causes such as 'free education'. The reality, as they know, is very different.

"Student Choice hopes Mr Hodgson will remember this next time these groups attack his Government.

The only way Mr Hodgson can have an honest dialogue with students is to accept that students do not speak with one voice, and allow us the same freedom of association other groups in society enjoy," concluded Mr Heine.

Student Choice is a student-run, national organisation promoting voluntary student association membership on the grounds of freedom of association.

ENDS

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