INDEPENDENT NEWS

Report gets angry thumbs down from students

Published: Tue 30 Oct 2001 03:56 PM
Government report gets angry thumbs down from students
The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is today calling on the government to make a major reinvestment in student support, despite the recommendation of the Education and Science Select Committee for further research to be undertaken into the effects of student debt.
“We don’t need another review or more research before taking action. The problems of student debt are well documented and if action isn’t taken soon the debt crisis will dominate New Zealand’s social and economic landscape,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.
“Students and the public want a political and fiscal solution to what is a political and fiscal problem. Instead we get a pathetic recommendation to undertake more work. Politicians need to get their heads out of the sand and give us answers,” said Campbell.
“Labour and National have been devoid of political leadership on this issue. National created the debt monster and Labour has only tinkered at the edges of it. Those parties need to front up and explain to the public why this report has no concrete recommendations and what they are planning to do to reduce student debt leading into the next election,” said Campbell.
“Next year student debt will hit $5 billion, our institutions will charge students some of the highest fees in the OECD, and up to two thirds of students will not be entitled to living support aside from student loans that may shackle them for life. If New Zealand is truly committed to a knowledge economy we need to invest in education to reduce fees and provide a basic living allowance to all students,” said Campbell.
“Thousands of New Zealanders participated in this review with high hopes. Eighteen months later these hopes have been dashed. Students expect and demand more than another review, they want solutions,” said Campbell.
ENDS
For further information please contact
NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell
Wk: 04 498 2599 Cell: 025 86 86 77

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