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Tomorrow's doctors urged to join tertiary debate

24 August 2001 Media Statement

Tomorrow's doctors urged to join tertiary education debate

Medical students were urged to have their say on the reform of New Zealand's tertiary education system this evening by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey was in Christchurch to address the New Zealand Medical Students' Association annual conference. The Government is currently consulting on the development of the country's first Tertiary Education Strategy which will be used to determine and fund teaching and research priorities.

Mr Maharey said it is vital that New Zealanders join the debate about how our tertiary education system can be fully harnessed as a key driver of economic and social transformation.

"The tertiary education sector has a key role to play in equipping New Zealanders to meet new challenges posed by globalisation and rapid techological development.

"Health sector workers in particular are familiar with the change that is needed. A worldwide shortage of doctors and nurses has led to recruitment and retention problems in New Zealand and across the world.

"We need to get strategic about how we invest in the development of our tertiary education system and match resources to national priorities.

"The challenge we as a Government face is to develop a widely shared vision about what the priorities are. The challenge for New Zealanders is to get involved and have their say," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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