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Future Dim For Bright Future Scholarships?

National Economic Development spokesperson Max Bradford today released statistics obtained through parliamentary questions showing that 126 Bright Future scholarships were granted in the 1999/2000 year.

The scholarship scheme was introduced by the National Government in 1999, as part of the Bright Future initiative to prepare New Zealand to become a knowledge based economy.

"The Bright Future policy is clearly working well. The scheme has supported some of our top students in endeavours such as completing a PhD, undertaking postgraduate research and study and training in technologies pertinent to enterprises.

"The people supported by these scholarships are exactly the type of people we must be nurturing so they will stay in New Zealand and help build our businesses.

"Two thirds of the scholarship recipients are in the science and technology field - an area that is crying out for a major injection of skills. One third of the recipients are in the social sciences and commerce fields. This is a reasonable balance.

"I am concerned for the future of our businesses, particularly those in the technology field, when I hear the Minister talking about his plans to review the Bright Future scholarships scheme. The Minister's comments indicate that the number of Bright Future scholarships may be reduced.

"This Government is intent on dumbing down our education system. We should be supporting our best and brightest students, not trying to ensure that all students are simply mediocre," Mr Bradford said.


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