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'Five Steps Ahead' Still Leaves Students Behind


Te Roopu Tauira O Te Kunenga ki Purehuroa

Date: 19/8/99


"Massey students face a daily struggle to buy food and accommodation and yesterday's release of the 'Five Steps Ahead' programme by the National party will not help them" said Massey University Students Association (MUSA) President Kylie Martin today.

"When students have massive loan debts equivalent to mortgages, when they don't get allowances and struggle to pay sky-rocketing fees, they are not going to be able to contribute to the 'knowledge economy' that National wishes to cultivate," Ms Martin said. These problems must be addressed by the new task force on tertiary education".

MUSA president Kylie Martin continued calls for a student friendly government "As we have done for the past 10 years" and restated her demand for education to be funded through progressive taxation, for a universal student allowance and an end to the burden of student loans.

"What scares us the most is that the Government has not abandoned many of the plans for tertiary education contained in 1998's White Paper, which we saw as a grave threat to student interests". The National party still plans to reform University councils and to press ahead with the new quality assurance structure".

Commenting on the additional $10.45 million for post-graduate research MUSA Graduate Students Officer Sheryl Hann said this money would be welcomed by science students, who are constantly battling for enough funding to be able to do quality research, but that the reality of only $10 million new spending within a $223 million package would depress these same students, since they face bleak prospects for a career in science.

"While there has been recent public concern over the 'brain drain' we should also be worried about those students who stay here. There are many students who are well-educated but who still can not find well-paying jobs, while others are unable to buy houses or start their own business because of their huge debts. What are we doing for these students?" Ms Hann said.

For further information contact: Sheryl Hann-MUSA Graduate Students Officer phone: (06) 350 5799 ext 7787 06 350 4500 facsimile: (06) 350 5665

Kylie Martin-MUSA President phone: (06) 350 4509 (025) 491 346 facsimile: (06) 350 5665

Massey University Students' Association Te Roopu Tauira o Te Kunenga ki Purehuroa Private Bag 11-222 Palmerston North, Aotearoa/New Zealand
+64 (6) 350 4500 phone +64 (6) 350 5665 fax
Upstairs in the MUSA building, Turitea Campus

It will take a woman with a debt of $20 000, 51 years to pay back her student loan, in comparison to a man taking 17 years. This is 3 times as long as a man.


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