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The APSU Student Union is not impressed with the "5 Steps" announced today by National.

"It appears that we have been through another election year propaganda stunt," said President John Barkess. "There is no substance in this policy."

"The government is targeting those people that are already high achievers in maths and science. There is nothing to encourage new people to enter the area of Science and Technology which is what is needed to achieve the aim of a knowledge based economy."

"Had the government allocated new funding to bring fees for Science and Technology courses in line with those of business, all students in this area would benefit and more would be encouraged to participate."

At present there are approximately 36,000 Science and Technology students throughout New Zealand. Their fees are an average of $700 higher than those of business students. To address this discrepancy would cost the government around $25 million.

"A solution such as this would allow more students to benefit and encourage a diversified group to study Science and Technology. Instead National appear to be targeting the higher decile schools (traditionally the higher achievers), people who are likely continued in this field anyway."

"National took $95 million from the sector last year resulting in huge fee increases, they are only offering to give back $47 million over a four year period."

"Giving the package a fancy name, "Bright Future", does not disguise the fact that the future of students, especially those from a lower socio-economic background, is looking very dark indeed."

For further comment contact John Barkess (04) 498 2501 or 025 756 526.

DISCLAIMER: Any mistakes contained in this transmission are the direct result of a fault in the computer as the operator is perfect.

John Barkess President Aotearoa Post-compulsory Students Union john.apsu@students.org.nz Ph (04) 4982501 025 756 526 Fax (04) 4996554 PO Box 10-191 WELLINGTON

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