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PR con-job no substitute for policy

Pansy Wong MP
National Party Associate Education Spokeswoman

17 August 2006

PR con-job no substitute for policy

National MP Pansy Wong says Labour’s hollow words will do nothing to enhance the $2 billion international education sector.

She is commenting on Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen’s announcement today of a new agenda for the industry which comprises four goals:

* New Zealand students will be equipped to thrive in an inter-connected world,
* Our education providers will be strengthened academically and financially through international links,
* International students will be enriched by their educational and living experiences in New Zealand,
* The direct economic and social benefits to New Zealand from international education activities must grow to their full potential.

“International education is New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner but all Labour can do is state the obvious and talk a load of fluff,” says Mrs Wong, who has responsibility for international education.

Dr Cullen also announced the reallocation of $1 million within the education levy fund into a new fund for promotion.

Mrs Wong says this will come at the expense of research and professional development.

“The re-allocation of these funds will do nothing to enhance student experience and strengthen the sector. It’s a PR con-job.

“Not only is Labour devoid of any new ideas for the sector, it is misleading over funding.

“Today’s hollow announcement is nothing but an insult to these students who broaden our youngsters’ international outlook and contribute financially to our schools and tertiary institutions,” says Mrs Wong.

ENDS

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