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Student power smashes Abbott fees proposal – for now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Student power smashes Abbott fees proposal – for now

02 October 2015

Media Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations and the Post Primary Teachers' Association

The national student union congratulates our comrades in the Australian National Union of Students on their impressive campaign to defeat higher education fee deregulation as proposed by the former Abbott Government.

One of the first acts of the new Turnbull Government, announced yesterday, has been to shelve plans that were predicted to lead to university degrees costing upwards of $100,000 after years of deadlock in the Senate and high public opposition to the changes.

New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations President Rory McCourt says the backdown is proof of the value of a united student voice and NUS President Rose Steele and Education Officer Hannah Smith have much to be proud of.

“What NUS have achieved, along with their allies in the NTEU and the Federal Senate is nothing short of incredible. An arrogant and head-strong government has been forced to reconsider in the face of organised, sustained community opposition. There’s a lesson in that.”

Mr McCourt says the Turnbull Government’s commitment to only shelve the policy ‘until after the next election’ shows the fight is not over.

“We congratulate our Aussie counterparts. Now that fee deregulation is dead in the water, it’s important that the pressure is kept up to bury it. We stand in solidarity with Australian students in that battle.”

Mr McCourt says with student debt mounting on both sides of the ditch, student groups in New Zealand were just as prepared to fight to defeat any moves to deregulate New Zealand tertiary fees or reimpose crippling interest on student loans.

“The Australian and New Zealand public share a deep commitment to equality of opportunity. We believe education should be everyone, not just those whose parents can pay no matter the cost. Attack equality of opportunity at your peril.”


ENDS


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