INDEPENDENT NEWS

Funding Cavities Need Filling Say Students

Published: Tue 25 Jan 2000 07:15 PM
Media Statement
For Immediate Release
26/1/2000
FUNDING CAVITIES NEED FILLING SAY STUDENTS
Student leaders today called on the Government to move quickly to restore funding to dentistry students. Dentistry funding was cut in 1994, on the basis of inaccurate research and advice from the Ministry of Education.
"The previous Government refused to rectify this error even when its own officials discovered the error and recommended that funding be increased. The result of this arrogance was that dentistry students have been underfunded by over $11,000 per year for the past 6 years" said Tanja Schutz, Co President of the New Zealand University Students Association.
"The most obvious and painful result of this underfunding is massive student debt" said Andrew Campbell, President, of Otago University Students Association " Dentistry students currently pay over $20,000 a year in fees, and they are the highest student loan borrowers with some having loans in excess of $100,000 when they graduate."
"Although the new Government's "no-interest-while-studying" policy will help to reduce these debts, what we desperately need quickly is a restoration of dentistry funding to its proper levels." said Ms Schutz "Only then will fees come down and only then will students begin to be able to conquer their debts".
"The new Government has promised to restore equity in education. Restoring dentistry funding would be an excellent first step towards achieving this goal."
For further comment:
Andrew Campbell, President Otago Students Association 021 345 368
03 479 5332
Tanja Schutz, Co President NZUSA 025 86 86 77
wk(04) 498 2500
Hm (04) 385 2153 ext 8812

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