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AREA 51 Accurate and Going Ahead

VUWSA web site Organisers of the "AREA 51" stunt at Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association are pleased that Minister of Tertiary Education Max Bradford has helped out with the publicity for their action tomorrow. They believe the campaign will be more successful and stronger with Max Bradford's ill-informed comments regarding the validity of their data.

"AREA 51" is intended to raise public awareness of the length of time it will take a women on an average women's wage to pay back a student loan of $20,000. At present the average level of student loans is around $10,000 although that includes many borrowers who have only recently entered tertiary study and the figure for graduates is closer to the $20,000 mark.

"The Minister's endlessly flawed press release has given tomorrow's campaign more impetus and we look forward to making our very accurate statement heard" said VUWSA Campaigns Officer Yadana Saw.

"The obvious lack of analysis in Mr. Bradford's release clearly illustrates how out of touch he is with the current state of tertiary education,"

However Saw was not surprised that the Minister did not appear to comprehend the issues as there was a real lack of quality analysis of the loan scheme available. "NZUSA and APSU are the only organisations that give us some projection of the future regarding students loans, with or without the token solutions the government throws at us. No other organisation performs any research on the effects of student loans," Saw said.

"Mr. Bradford and the National government have attempted to discredit us, once again we must ask why? The statistics clearly show the huge disparity between men and women with student loans, even the most avid National party supporters should have grave fears for their daughters futures," Yadana Saw said. "After all. 'the truth is out there' as they say".

Tomorrow's action will begin at 1pm and continue until 3pm in the Victoria University Quad.

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