INDEPENDENT NEWS

Students aren’t as green as grass

Published: Mon 7 May 2001 09:41 AM
Students aren’t as green as grass – won’t give Nat’s “advance” a pass
The National Party plan to repackage their unpopular student loan policy as “student advances” will not fool students or voters, says the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA).
“National has nothing new to say on tertiary education. The recommendations in today’s report on youth and tertiary policy are nothing more than new names for old ideas, a rehash of previously failed policy and leftovers from the 1999 white paper”, said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell. “It’s hardly a vision for the future”.
“National’s on a no-brainer when they claim that the problem with student loans is how borrowers feel about the language – it’s more about the nearly $4 billion students owe. No student will be financially better off through changing the name of the scheme”.
Some of the recommendations of the National Party’s Youth and Tertiary Education Taskforce include increasing international student numbers, introducing bonding schemes, and allowing students to pay their tertiary fees in quarterly instalments.
“National are offering no concrete solutions for the fundamental problems in tertiary education. The key issues are the underfunding of the system, high costs of study and problems with access to those from less advantaged backgrounds. National has come up with nothing to rectify these problems”.
NZUSA remains sceptical of National Party proposals for tertiary education, given their abysmal record in government that led to ballooning loan debts, higher fees, limited allowances and no unemployment benefit for students who can’t find jobs over summer.
“The National Party should listen to young people and students as they decide on their policies for the next election,” said Andrew Campbell. “They would quickly get the message that students want no fees, universal allowances and a decently funded public education system”.
ENDS
For further information
Andrew Campbell, NZUSA Co-President
Cell: 025 86 86 77 Work: 04 498 2500

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