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Bradford Gets It Wrong Again

VUWSA web site"It's a very sad day when a highly ranked, highly paid Minister of the Crown chooses to spend his time speculating on student protests that haven't happened yet and solicit leaked emails from student leaders," Victoria University of Wellington Students Association President-elect Chris Hipkins said today.

"I find it ironic that a Minister who sees fit to put a price on how much it costs him to answer parliamentary questions believes that this is a prudent use of his time. Perhaps the Minister would care to provide us with an analysis of how much it costs for him to research and issue press releases, assuming any research goes into them at all, which I seriously doubt," Hipkins said.

Mr. Hipkins also said that Mr Bradford's Media Release was poorly researched and based on completely false assumptions, which, had the Minister waited for VUWSA to make any public statements on the issue, could have been easily corrected.

"Firstly, Mr Bradford clearly can't have read the leaked email he claims to have otherwise he would find that Karen Skinner is the Co-President of NZUSA and not a member of the Victoria University Student Executive,"

"Secondly, Mr. Bradford incorrectly asserts that the average student loan is around $10,000 at the time of graduation. This is blatantly wrong! The average per student loan debt overall may be closer to $10,000 but this assumes that all those still in tertiary study are finishing and will not go on to borrow more. Based on a mean borrowing level of $6,495 per annum, a $20,000 debt at the time of graduation is not at all unrealistic," Hipkins said.

"Finally, the government has not made any changes that will make it easier to pay back student loans. They have talked about it and promised something two or three years down the track, but they haven't actually done it yet. We base our research on FACTS, not speculation as to what the government MIGHT do!" Hipkins said.

"Of course I can understand why Mr. Bradford and his colleagues are so defensive, an election looms and their track record in tertiary education speaks for itself. Close to $3.5 billion is debt has accumulated and this figure will continue to rise unless something is done about it. Clearly they aren't willing to take the issue seriously, and no doubt students will vote accordingly," Hipkins concluded.

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