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Labour releases tertiary education policy

Labour
2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark says Labour's tertiary education policy released today will encourage a more strategic direction for the entire tertiary sector in order to maximise the benefits the nation can gain from tertiary education.

There will be a greater focus on collaboration within the sector and a greater emphasis on research.

"Labour does not favour the 'marketplace' education system that National has been attempting to develop," Helen Clark said.

"A model which encourages tertiary institutions to act as competitors is not capable of producing the educational or research outcomes New Zealand needs going into the 21st century.

"Labour in government aims to build a prosperous future for New Zealand based on knowledge, skill, and technology. The economic change New Zealand needs must be driven by educated and skilled people.

"Labour sees the tertiary education system as central to economic transformation . We accept responsibility, not only for the quality of education and training, but also for making it affordable and accessible.

"As announced earlier this year, full-time and other low income students will not pay interest on their loans while they are still studying and the repayment of loans by former students on modest incomes will be eased.

"Under Labour, tertiary institutions will be required to work together to meet the educational and research needs of the nation. They will be collaborators, not competitors.

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"Labour supports a partnership process which allows for the setting of nationwide strategic directions while respecting the autonomy of institutions.

"We are also deeply committed to academic freedom as critical to the free exchange of ideas in a free society. The role of critic and conscience of society will remain at the heart of the definition of a university, and will also be seen as central to the activities of other tertiary institutions," Helen Clark said.

This policy is available on Labour's Website at www.labour.org.nz

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