Key commitment a clunker!!
Student leaders, responding to John Key’s latest tertiary education policy announcements, expressed astonishment at the ignorance of his view that graduates are leaving our shores for a “brighter future”, and not because of student debt, accumulated through borrowing to live and high student fees.
Co-Presidents Liz Hawes and Paul Falloon were staggered that after a plethora of research reports have been released this year, demonstrating that student debt is driving our best and brightest off shore, Mr Key could still think that students having to borrow to live is not a factor!
“We acknowledge Mr Key’s a ‘fresher’ to politics and may not be familiar with all the tertiary education issues facing students”, said Liz Hawes, “but there has been extensive evidence of the fact that lack of access to student allowances and high fees are fuelling student debt and driving graduates off shore”, she said.
A number of industry sector groups including the veterinary association and medical representatives have linked the brain drain with New Zealand skill shortages and high student debt. Further, a recent Ministry of Education report found that students receiving a full student allowance were more likely to achieve better grades, and be retained through to completion of their qualification, than those students who had to borrow money for living costs and fees.
“Mr Key’s statement is totally at odds with the evidence and research”, said Paul Falloon. “Mr Key is out of step with the views of students, their parents and the general public”, he said.