MEDIA RELEASE Date: 22 August 02 Attention: Education/Maori Reporters For Immediate Release
Tertiary education a double failure for Maori
Maori tertiary students are getting into more and more debt under the student loan scheme, but many of these students
will not gain a qualification to help them repay their debt. Research by the Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association
(ATSA) shows that collectively Maori students owe over $880 million in student debt. Maori tertiary students are more
likely to drop of study, meaning that many will have little ability to repay their student loan.
"New Zealand's education system is failing to cater for the learning and social needs of Maori students and the result
is that these students have high drop out rates," said Julie Pettett, President of ATSA. "It is a crime that we are
lending Maori tertiary students huge amounts of money to enter a system that sets them up to fail."
"There are also substantial costs to institutions as a result of completion failure," said Pettett. "Student drop out is
a total waste of the teaching resources, time and financial capital that government and institutions spend in the
delivery of educational services."
"Actions speak louder than words. ATSA is holding a four day hui, starting today, to examine these issues," said
Pettett, "This hui will identify what students see as the solutions. It will then be up to institutions and the
government to support these solutions."
For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett ATSA National President Cell phone 029 939 1417 (04) 9391417
The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association - Representing University, Polytechnic and Wananga students