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MP wants inquiry into $1.7 billion industry

MP wants inquiry into $1.7 billion industry

The Government's attempt to blame private training establishments and international students for the problems in the export education sector will simply make those problems worse for everyone involved in the industry. "As always, Labour has been quick to point the finger at everyone else and has completely ignored the role that its own officials have played in this sorry saga," says National Party Asian Relationships spokeswoman Pansy Wong.

"The Government is sitting on its hands and passing the buck while the reputation of our $1.7 billion export education industry suffers," says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

The MPs say international students are entitled to know how their $183 fee, as well as 0.45% variable fee, is being spent.

"They should be assured that checks are in place to ensure the security of the trust accounts that their prepaid fees and accommodation costs are kept in, they deserve to know what criteria the NZQA applies to institutions seeking acceptance as signatories to the Code of Pastoral Care and what orientation programmes are in place to ensure all students are well informed," say the pair.

Mrs Wong is calling on the sector to stand up and support her call for an inquiry into the industry's failings.

"The solution may include the formation of an independent body backed by legislation. It should be responsible for monitoring and follow-up.

"Trevor Mallard is labelling himself as the saviour of the Chinese international student market. If this is indeed the case he will welcome an inquiry," she says.

"The sector needs leadership, not another planning meeting called by an entity that doesn't have the teeth to refuse registration or to implement the kind of actions necessary to restore confidence to the sector," says Mr English.

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