Excellence Continues To Elude Labour
The Labour Party policy on tertiary education released today, while containing some good points, lacks any commitment to rewarding individual student excellence according to Graham Butterworth, United New Zealand education spokesperson.
“While their tertiary policies talk about scholarship and the knowledge economy and threaten universities with a quality assurance regime, they sadly offer nothing to promote the individual academic achievement scholarship must be based on.
“United believes that at the heart of a successful university system there must be students who are motivated to succeed at their studies. Labour’s proposals offer no rewards to the successful student who achieves above average grades,” says Mr Butterworth.
He says that United, unlike Labour, has specific policies to remedy this. “We will raise the A and B Bursaries from their present miserly levels of $500 and $250 to $3000 and $1500 respectively. It is a national disgrace they have not been increased since 1982.”
United is also committed to remitting up to one-third of loan money for students completing a tertiary qualification with additional discounts for the quality of the degree.
“We will also encourage private and public sector organisations to offer scholarships to promising students.
“United believes there has to be an achievement based culture within tertiary institutions where a bare pass is viewed as good enough. Labour’s policy is good in some respects but fails to recognise the pursuit and achievement of excellence,” concludes Mr Butterworth.