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Mr English gets it wrong - no.3

16 February, 2005

Mr English gets it wrong - no.3

Only 645 fewer students gained University Entrance in 2004 than 2003, not 10,000 as the National Party is trying to have people believe, says Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope says National Party education spokesman Bill English's pattern of misinformation is alarming: "Yet again he is wrong."

Mr Benson-Pope says the New Zealand Qualifications Authority released University Entrance (UE) figures earlier this week so there was no excuse for Mr English not knowing what the true story was.

Those figures show that in 2003 some 16,603 Year 13 students gained UE and that a year later that had dropped by just 645 to 15,958 – a drop of less than 4%.

Yesterday in Parliament Mr English was happy to imply that an extra 10,000 students would not gain university entrance because they had not passed a literacy standard.

"What the public needs most at the moment is clear and accurate information. I question the quality of information Mr English is contributing to this debate."

ENDS

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