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Facts Askew as EFB Clouds Gather

PRESS RELEASE

FROM ERIC ROY, MP FOR INVERCARGILL AND SIT SUPPORTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18 December 2007

Facts Askew as EFB Clouds Gather

Invercargill MP and Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) supporter Eric Roy has said the excitement over the Support SIT campaign and its relationship to the Electoral Finance Bill (EFB) has overshadowed some glaring misapprehensions over the effects of cuts to SIT funding.

"While this campaign may well be tested by the EFB, I am concerned that SIT's integrity is being impugned in the fallout over these cuts," Mr. Roy said.

"For example, a report on Friday had the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) suggesting that SIT could offset its losses through the Quality Reinvestment Programme funding. This is completely wrong – QRP funding will not alleviate the losses of equivalent full-time students and is just a smokescreen by the TEC to divert attention from its flawed and crippling policy."

Mr. Roy said he was also concerned that some reports were questioning SIT's quality of education and training provision.

"To imply that SIT does not deliver quality education and relies on a 'bums on seats' model is ignorant of what the SIT does deliver. The reality is that SIT fills a needed role in Southland and Christchurch, can co-exist with CPIT – according to the trades delivery report commissioned by the Tertiary Education Commission- and SIT2LRN gives students foundation qualifications that lead them into further study."

"While it's clearly good the timing of this campaign has drawn attention to SIT's plight, the obfuscation of the facts by the TEC to suit its own misguided ends should not be overlooked."

Mr. Roy said the TEC had a closed mind to SIT's special situation as a desired provider by industry training groups in Christchurch.

"And as for the SIT2LRN students, it's not the TEC who have to tell a farmer's wife in the backblocks of the West Coast that she can't study because of a ridiculous and inflexible Government policy. SIT has been left carrying the can for this Government's stupidity and short-sightedness on tertiary education."

ENDS

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