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Taskforce opts for ignorance over education

Media Release
30 November 2009

Taskforce opts for ignorance over education

The 2025 Taskforce's prescription for tertiary education assumes that New Zealand can reach the Taskforce's goal of economic parity with Australia by educating fewer people and lowering the quality of the public education that New Zealanders receive. The taskforce, which made its recommendations today, was set up by Prime Minister John Key and led by former National Party leader Don Brash with the goal of bridging the income gap with Australia by 2025.

The taskforce calls for higher tertiary education fees, market interest on student loans, changing the democratic governance of tertiary institutions, and less public oversight of the quality of education that our students receive.

"Seemingly the Taskforce thinks the path to economic parity with Australia is a low-skill, low-productivity path," said Tertiary Education Union president Dr Tom Ryan.

"This stands in stark contrast to Australia, where its federal government is investing tens of billions of dollars encouraging people into tertiary education, and taking active steps to remove barriers that prevent people studying."

"These recommendations, combined with the broader calls to savagely cut government spending, to reduce wages and weaken employment rights, suggest the taskforce has taken very little notice of the 'lucky' country it is supposedly trying to emulate," said Dr Ryan.

ENDS

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