Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Report reveals Labour's student debt shame

19 April 2005

International report reveals Labour's student debt shame

A new report comparing the affordability of tertiary education in fifteen OECD countries provides irrefutable proof that Labour is failing New Zealand's students, the Green Party says.

"Kiwi students are harder up than any of their counterparts around the world except the Japanese," Green Tertiary Education Nandor Tanczos said. "This report provides alarming proof that we are failing to provide the right conditions for our young people to learn without enormous economic hardship."

The report - released by the independent North American Education Policy Institute - uses six measures of affordability to compare tertiary education in 15 developed countries. New Zealand is ranked least-affordable or second-least-affordable under five of the six measures, and is ranked second-least-affordable when the six measures are combined.

The countries which offer more affordable tertiary education than New Zealand are Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Australia, the US, and the UK.

The report completely undermines Labour's claim to be doing all it can to make tertiary education affordable, Nandor said.

"We have a government that came to power promising to make tertiary education affordable, yet New Zealand students are faced with harder financial struggles than students in all other Western countries. This is neither fair nor wise."

"The Government cannot afford to keep ignoring and denying the facts. Go around the campuses as I do and you will see that many students are facing real hardship and all New Zealanders will be worse off for that."

Nandor said the Greens advocated capping fees immediately at $1,500, instituting a universal student allowance set at the level of the unemployment benefit, and progressively writing-off the debt of graduates working in New Zealand .

"The long list of developed countries that have more affordable tertiary education than we do completely gazumps the argument that the country simply can't afford to make tertiary education cheaper for our young people. In fact, we cannot afford not to. Student debt is affecting fertility rates, migration rates, home ownership, urbanisation and career choice, to the detriment of all New Zealanders."

"Only last month, Education Minister Trevor Mallard was shouting from the rooftops that student fees were lower here than in Australia. Now that we have the proof that tertiary education is less affordable here than almost everywhere else in the developed world, the Greens will be increasing the pressure on the Government to pick up its act on student debt."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election