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Is Max Making It Up?

MEDIA RELEASE
22 OCTOBER 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IS MAX MAKING IT UP?

Figures used by Max Bradford to justify the private benefits of tertiary education are wrong claims Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union President John Barkess.

Mr. Bradford claims that a tertiary education would give a graduate extra earnings of $525,000 over their lifetime.

A Treasury Working Paper entitled "Private and Public Returns to Investments in Secondary and Higher Education in New Zealand Over Time: 1981 - 1996"*, conducted with proper research, showed that the highest private rate of return from a tertiary education was $149,485 for a male and $90,183 for a female. This was the difference between a person with no qualification and a person with a postgraduate qualification.

"Unless there has been a huge jump in wages over the last 3 years or Mr. Bradford has access to information the Treasury doesn't, I fail to see how he arrived at his figures," said Mr. Barkess. "Mr. Bradford needs to justify his claims with hard evidence. We are always being challenged to substantiate our figures. It is now time for the Minister to do the same."

"If he is with holding information from Treasury I would suggest he should share his toys as we were all taught in the days of free education. If he isn't then I would suggest he revise his figures so they reflect the true situation."

"It is disturbing when the government appears to be attempting to mislead the public at a time when the 'Knowledge Economy' has become such an important election issue. This sends the wrong message to people thinking of getting a Student Loan. Mr. Bradford should think carefully before encouraging more debt among the youth of New Zealand."

For further comment contact John Barkess 025 756 526.

*This working paper was written by Sholeh Maani of the Department of Economics at Auckland University under contract to the New Zealand Treasury.


ENDS

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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