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Put Down the Old Dog

Put Down the Old Dog

"Julie Pettett wants to add a dose of fleas to an education system that is already a dog," said a Libertarianz spokesman today. Speaking in response to a proposal put forward by the President of the Aotearoa Tertiary Students Association (ATSA) for an ‘International Students Reference Group,’ Libertarianz Spokesman for Education Deregulation Peter Osborne agrees that international students do have the right to be heard, but he says Ms Pettett’s solution will only create an even more ineffective bureaucracy.

Osborne observes that Ms Pettett's proposal for the group - to be made up of student representatives, government officials and representatives of both public and private providers - is "typical of a state-worshiper who can’t recognise the underlying problems that will always dog a state-run education system.” Says Osborne: “The problem is symptomatic of all things run by the state, which is their inability to react to change. The government has welcomed overseas students with open arms but has failed to react effectively to that demand. This proposal put forward by Ms Pettett will do very little to help international students.”

Mr Osborne continues, “Individual complaints made by international students will not be acted upon by panels of the sort Ms Pettett proposes, which will always look at 'aggregates' rather than individuals. Because New Zealand’s education system is ruled by enforced monopoly - including the private sector which is pinned down by regulation - the desire by the education provider to accommodate a disgruntled student would barely exist. The state system doesn’t react to individual problems; it only reacts to mass discontent. One only needs to look at the continuing industrial disputes between teachers and government to see just one symptom of this problem in action."

In conclusion Mr Osborne says, “For too long successive governments have ruled over an education system that can only be described as a dog. Only an unregulated, private sector will accommodate an international market efficiently and effectively. The education provider will be answerable directly to the individual students, not to a lifeless board of bureaucrats. Of course, Ms Pettett will then have to find a real job."

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