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AUS wrong to point finger at National

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

28 September 2006

AUS wrong to point finger at National

The university staff union is wrong to blame National for the litany of problems in the tertiary education sector after seven years of Labour Government, says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

“Despite almost seven years thinking about it, more than $500 million spent on it, and more than 700 pages of documents contemplating ways of fixing it, successive Labour Ministers have demonstrated a paralysing inability to make any real impact in the tertiary education sector.

“The only significant impact Labour has had on the sector is to bloat its bureaucracy.”

Figures obtained from Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen show that administration costs from the government agencies overseeing the tertiary sector rose from $64 million in the 2000/01 financial year, to $140 million in 2005/06.

Mr English says there is no justification for that kind of increase, and students haven’t benefited at all.

“This is the bureaucracy that has overseen uncontrolled and arbitrary growth in low-value, low-relevance sub-degree courses which less than a third of enrolees ever finish, at the expense of skills and trade training where providers can’t keep up with industry demand.

“National believes that decisions should be in the hands of students, not bureaucrats.

“At the end of the day it’s the students who have to live with the consequences. They are the ones who have to take the risks and who hope to benefit from the returns.

“The AUS is doing the sector a disservice by overlooking that fact and buying into Labour Party propaganda so blatantly,”says Mr English.


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