Labours Tertiary Policy – a mixed bag
Labours tertiary policy has been met with mixed feelings by student leaders today, but the response is generally positive.
"We are pleased that Labour has acknowledged that growing student debt is of real concern and a key election issue. Their proposed changes to the interest rate will have tangible effects for students" said Karen Skinner Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA). "Charging interest to students while they are still studying is amazingly harsh" said Tanja Schutz Co-President. "Also many people who graduate are not earning enough to pay back the accumulating interest, let alone payback the actual principle debt. Labours policy changes to the interest will th erefor insure that graduates are actually able to lessen their total debt".
"Students are currently borrowing money to buy food and pay rent. We are disappointed that Labour did not take any action over the issue of student allowances. We also would have liked to see fees coming down for next year" said Ms Skinner. "Labours commitment to quality is positive, and also their indication that they want to listen to players within the Tertiary sector is a good move. They are also the first party to positively address initiatives of improving the retention rates of Maori students within the Tertiary sector" said Ms Schutz.
"Labour has also committed to keeping the current governance model within institutions which includes student representation on University council which is something we have fought for" said Ms Skinner.
"We look forward to seeing some of these policies come into place after the election" Ms Skinner concluded.