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National Admits Success of Free Education

National Admits Success of Free Education

National’s Tertiary Education spokesman, Paul Hutchison, today praised the impact of Southland Institute of Technology’s “zero fees” in helping boost the number of skilled people in Southland.

Labour Department studies show significant skill shortages now and in the future in Southland. SIT has been innovative and refreshing with its distance learning initiatives and ‘Zero Fees' policy, both of which will boost the number of skilled people in Southland’s said National's education spokesperson, Mr Hutchison in a media release “Shadbolt right, TEC wrong...”.

“While Mr. Hutchison is wrong in equating bums-on-seat with success, he is absolutely right about government funding, fees and levels of skilled people in the community.” said Richard Mitchell, Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association President.

Mr Hutchison is calling for $8M to be spent at SIT to help keep zero fees.

Students have long advocated scrapping fees to increase participation in tertiary education, and are glad to see National admitting the benefits to the community of 'zero fees'.

However given the dramatic fee increases under the last National governments and no significant change in their policy since then, National needs to do more than just admit zero fees are good for the community.

“Both National and Labour need to change their polices to decrease fees and significantly increase eligibility to living allowances - and the country might then have a chance of having enough plumbers, builders, nurses, and doctors.” said Mr Mitchell.


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