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Prebble Speech: ACT’s Tertiary Policy

ACT’s Tertiary Policy

Thursday 7th Oct 1999
Richard Prebble
Speech -- Education

Speech to Auckland University 12.00 Thursday 7 October 1999

ACT’s tertiary policy is to change the present system to promote higher standards and to have a fair system.

Funding students rather than institutions will result in higher standards.

Students want degrees that are of an international standard. Too many courses at our universities are politically correct nonsense that students only do because they are forced to.

Like forcing commerce students to do the Marxist sociology courses. Or the proposal at Victoria University that all students be required to do Maori language courses.

If we fund students, not the institutions, then students will make their own choices about the qualifications that are best for their futures.

The present fee structure and student loan scheme is unfair.

The fee structure is unfair because students on the tuition fees are required to pay for the cost of university research. Over 40% of the cost of universities is research, so the overall claim by the university of the fee cost for courses is 40% too high.

ACT says that university research is a public good and should be paid for out of general taxation.

ACT’s proposal will see many very expensive course fees drastically reduced.

The second unfairness is in the student loan scheme.

ACT supports a student loan scheme because without it students from poor families could not attend university or polytech.

The scheme is unfair because students who borrow loans are required to not only pay back their loan but also the loans of students who default.

So students who work hard, get a job, and start repaying their loans are paying for others who don't.

ACT asks why should students who borrow the old fashion way and repay their loan have to pay for those who do not. It's simply not fair.

50 percent of all students have no student loan so they pay nothing towards the cost of defaulting students.

The student loan is a government scheme and the government should pick up the cost of defaults.

This change will reduce the total cost of the average student loan by a third.

ACT is opposed to the Labour proposal to make student loans interest free while students are at University. 50% of all students have no loan. The average loan is $12,000.

If loans were interest free every student should borrow to the limit, if only to put the money in the savings bank at 6%.

Many students will borrow intending to put it in the bank.

Labour’s proposal will see student loan debt explode.

Labour intends continuing with the scheme where by the students who repay pay for those who default. So most students will end up much worse off.

ACT is opposed to Labour’s proposal to cut off entry to courses that Labour does not like and to direct you to courses that they think students should study.

ACT says that students can make better decisions about their own lives than politicians.

Students on this campus voted to give each student the right to choose whether or not to join their student association. ACT firmly believes that they should have that choice.

ACT also says students are the best judges of what courses they wish to study.

If studying science was a guarantee of success then the Soviet Union would have won the cold war.

ACT is also opposed to racial quotas.

Students should be selected into courses because they qualify.

It is wrong for Auckland University Medical School to be telling a New Zealand born student that he or she cannot study medicine because he is of Indian origin.

There is no such thing as positive discrimination. If one person is positively discriminated against it follows that someone else was negatively discriminated against.

ACT is the party of equal opportunity. ACT is the party that believes in freedom and personal responsibility.

ACT is the party of the future, your future. Our policies are for your whole life, not just your student life.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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