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Labour Tertiary Policy Sets Right Direction

The Aotearoa Postcompulsory Student Union today congratulated the Labour party on its tertiary education policy, describing it as a "real step to addressing the real issues".

"Over the past nine years, the APSU Student Union has repeatedly raised concerns about access to tertiary education, quality, and the crucial need to maintain a strong public tertiary sector for current and future students," said John Barkess, APSU Student Union President.

"The current Government has chosen to drive down funding despite increasing evidence that this is preventing poorer students from participating in education. It is also driving quality into the ground, by opening funding to all sorts of shoddy providers, without putting in place a decent quality assurance regime. It is almost as if the Government is determined not to listen."

"Labour, on the other hand, has signalled quite clearly that they are aware of what's going on in tertiary education. They have committed publicly to bringing down fees - the major barrier to participation - over time, and have committed themselves to act quickly to bring the cost of Student Loans down. They have also committed themselves to supporting and strengthening the public sector, rather than frittering the community's resources away."

"We commend Labour for facing up to reality, and call on the Government to follow this lead. Anything less could mean the end of our institutions, and the end of equal and open access to tertiary education."

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