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Access threats to education appalling

Access threats to education appalling

Students are appalled at the introduction of elitism and competition in education, if a rushed University of Auckland proposal recommending the capping of enrolments from 2009 passes through the institution's Council next week.

"This proposal represents a very real and unacceptable threat to access to tertiary education in New Zealand", said Joey Randall, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA).

Currently those willing and able are entitled to enter tertiary education. The University of Auckland is proposing to remove open entry to undergraduate courses from 2009. The University's Senate yesterday ignored arguments of student representatives and academics against the proposal, and voted to send the recommendation to Council for final approval.

"This institution's commitment to equity in education is in serious doubt. This policy shows no consideration of the real effects that this will have on equity at the University. Their answer to such concerns is to set up a working party to look at the issues after the policy has been approved. Students won't be fooled by this cynical proposition", said Randall.

"Scrapping open entry has been floated before and comprehensively rejected as discriminatory. The University of Auckland is turning to outmoded and prejudicial methods that have no place in contemporary education", said Randall.

"The urgency and secrecy with which this proposal has been rushed through is deeply concerning. To not engage with those directly affected by the capping of enrolments is unacceptable and undemocratic. The University's 'consultation' on this matter is laughable", said Randall.

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The significant policy change was presented without warning, and when most classes and exams had concluded for the year, effectively silencing the key stakeholders in this discussion - students.

NZUSA supports the work of the Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA) in opposing the elimination of open entry and calls on the University of Auckland to reject the proposal to cap enrolments for undergraduate study immediately.

ENDS

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