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Cap fees, not quality say Greens

Cap fees, not quality say Greens

The Government must ensure its proposed tertiary fee cap includes all post-graduate students if it wants to attract quality researchers, said Green MP Nandor Tanczos.

Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey has announced an $8.6 million project to link tertiary sector researchers with Government policy makers.

Nandor, the Green Party's Tertiary Education spokesperson, warned that efforts to enhance the benefits of tertiary sector research would be hampered if there were no incentives for students to continue towards post-graduate qualifications.

"While I congratulate the Government for making a positive first step, I am very concerned if post-graduate students are not included in the fee maxima system," said Nandor.

"This initiative to link the tertiary research sector with Government policy decisions would be wasted without incentives for post-graduate study.

"We need to invest in people to commit to post-graduate studies, where they will contribute to the "critical mass" in research that Mr Maharey is wanting to boost.

"Leaving them out in the cold from protection against soaring student fees is not the way to achieve this."

Nandor called on Mr Maharey to set an affordable cap on fees for all students at all levels in tertiary education, as a first step to progressively phasing out all student fees entirely.

"New Zealand's competitive edge has always been our creativity, innovation and expertise. This is exactly what post-graduate research is about.

"We should be doing everything we can to encourage people to participate in this."

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