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Int Education Package: All Spin, No Substance

International Education Package: All Spin, No Substance

ACT New Zealand Tertiary Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today described Labour's pre-Budget announcement - in which it will fork out $40 million of taxpayers' money on new international education initiatives - as misguided and ineffectual.

"Educational diplomacy, double-speak for overseas bureaucracy building, is a waste of money - education providers have proven in the past to be more than capable of marketing themselves to foreign students," Miss Coddington said.

"The Government's desire to strengthen quality in the tertiary sector smacks of hypocrisy. When Labour became aware that the Modern Age language school was in serious financial trouble it did nothing until it was too late. Sadly, it was the foreign students enrolled in this institution who suffered most.

"Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey's desperate attempt to cover up his guilty feelings for treating foreign students like cash cows by offering international students scholarships - paid for by Kiwi taxpayers - won't wash.

"Study Abroad awards appear to be an extravagant way to retain our best teachers and prevent them from heading overseas. Why not devolve funding for schools and allow them to pay good teachers more?

"If this Government were serious about achieving `an effective national brand' in education, it should retain the internationally-recognised, gold-plated, Bursary exam system, and ditch its idea of developing a `generic promotion and marketing' campaign.

"Today's announcement is all spin and no substance. I confidently predict it won't make one iota of difference to the international education industry," Miss Coddington said.

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