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Removing student choice is not the answer

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

4 April 2006

Removing student choice is not the answer

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says the Government’s plan for more reform in the tertiary education sector makes student choice less important and bureaucratic control more important.

“The answer to too much bureaucracy is not more bureaucrats.

“The tertiary sector needs more focus, but removing student choice is not the answer.

“Over the past six years, Labour has made so many false starts on tertiary reform and has cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars on low-value courses. I remain sceptical that the changes announced today will deliver a better deal for students and taxpayers.

“It’s a bit late after six years of endless strategies, taskforces, reports and statements of priorities to now say our tertiary education system is a work in progress.”

Mr English says regional polytechnics look to be the biggest losers out of these changes.

“Two-thirds of polytechnics are already in financial trouble and they will have to push hard to make sure universities don’t take advantage of the increased uncertainty they will now face for a further two years.”


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