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Open Polytechnic incites Aussies

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

21 March 2006

Open Polytechnic incites Aussies

The Open Polytechnic has failed to offer any assistance to 500 students who lost their fees when a company owned by the polytech went under in Australia, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

“The Open Polytechnic has also refused to offer any assistance to the Australian organisation which is finding alternative courses for all those students who lost their fees,” says Mr English.

“If an Australian tertiary institution treated New Zealand students this way, all hell would break loose and the Government would be up in arms.

“The Open Polytechnic may be taking a strictly legal approach, but it’s leaving a sour taste,” says Mr English.

The Open Polytechnic purchased Stott's College and the company proceeded to lose money in Australia.

After losing money for several years, Stott’s College joined an Australian scheme to protect students and 12 months ago the Open Polytechnic put the college into receivership.

“Now Australian providers have to pick up the bill for providing courses for the 500 students,” says Mr English.

“These actions will damage the reputation of all the New Zealand institutions offering education in Australia.

“The Open Polytechnic, which is Government funded, should offer some contribution to costs because they must have known the Australian students were at risk,” says Mr English.

Ends

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