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Tertiary Education Opportunities to Be Denied

Tertiary Education Opportunities to Be Denied

Tertiary students appear likely to face new barriers to gaining skills and qualifications under plans being hinted at by the new Tertiary Education Minister, says Maryan Street, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson.

“Steven Joyce has told the Weekend Press newspaper that the student loans policy is in his sights. The government’s intention is clearly to make it harder for tertiary students to get a loan in the first place to cover their fees. If the government is going to start picking winners in the tertiary education system before they enrol, then people who have not done well at school for a variety of reasons and who want a second chance at learning should beware,” she said.

“Often Maori and Pacific students need more support at university, wananga or polytechs. On the same day that the Associate Minister of Education, Pita Sharples, is launching a new guide to assist tertiary institutions to help Maori succeed in tertiary education, the Minister, Steven Joyce, is announcing the government’s intention to make it harder for people to get there.

“This sounds like a government speaking with a forked tongue,” said Maryan Street.

“How will poorer families be able to afford to give their children higher education opportunities if the government shuts the door in their faces?” she asked.

“Who do we believe – Steven Joyce or Pita Sharples? Is the government trying to make it easier or harder for Maori to succeed? Every second chance learner or low income family needs to know where the government stands on their access to tertiary education.

“Most students need financial support in order to complete their studies. This is what a forward-looking government should be doing – investing in people not denying them opportunities,” she said.

ENDS


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