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Labours Tertiary Education Policy Misleading

30 June 2002

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is describing the Labour Party’s election pledge to keep tertiary education affordable as misleading and says that their policies on fees and allowances will do little to solve the student debt problem.

“In no way can our tertiary education system be described as affordable. The average student pays $4500 in fees a year and 66% of students are ineligible for an allowance. The average graduate leaves with a loan of $20,000. This system is neither affordable nor fair,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.

“The allowances policy announced today is vague, although its clear it does not provide a universal allowance. Students have the Alliance, the Greens and New Zealand First all offering a universal student allowance. These parties are obviously more committed to an affordable tertiary education system,” said Campbell.

“The policy of fee maxima does not guarantee fee reductions, in fact it may result in fee increases for some courses. The tertiary education minister himself has acknowledged to NZUSA that there will be fluctuations in fees over the next three years. We fail to see how this policy makes tertiary education more affordable,” said Campbell.

“This policy fails to address the problems faced by graduates with student loans. Unless the interest on loans for graduates is wiped we will continue to see an exodus of our doctors, nurses and teachers oversees,” said Campbell

“We acknowledge the work that Labour has done for students in their first term. Its also good to see that Labour has prioritised allowances within their own policy. We simply don’t think they have gone far enough,” said Campbell.

ENDS

For further information please contact
NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell
Wk: 04 498 2500 Cell: 0274 86 86 77

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