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Students back union's plan for tertiary education

Students back union's plan for tertiary education

Today Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association President Rory McCourt supported the Tertiary Education Union's $1b plan for fixing New Zealand's university and polytechnic sector, announced today at the union's annual conference.

McCourt said "Under this government, our universities are going backwards with more and more prescription, micro-management and competition rather than trust, autonomy and collaboration."

"New Zealanders expect our universities to be the critic and conscience of society, to hold up a mirror glass and challenge the way we see ourselves and our choices. They expect us to do more than address the labour shortages of today. We've forgotten that. We've replaced knowledge centres with jobs factories, and that's unwise.” he said.

McCourt applauded the recommendations to address education quality and access in the union's Blueprint, but said more work could be done to address the weekly level of student allowances and living cost loans.

"When 1 in 6 students live in abject poverty by their third year, and a majority can't borrow enough each week to eat, or heat their flats; something is seriously wrong in this land of plenty" said McCourt.

"We support the TEU's call for more access to student allowances and restoration of funding to our universities and polytechnics. Education should be for all, not just a few" concluded McCourt.


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