INDEPENDENT NEWS

Students Unite Against Failed Policies

Published: Thu 14 Oct 1999 06:25 PM
Students Unite Against Failed Policies
Media Release
For immediate release
14th October 1999
Students Unite Against Failed Policies
Students have united into one loud booming voice across the country putting education high up on the agenda for the upcoming election.
The recent occupations across the country show that students are fed up with being ignored by the government and that the tertiary sector is far too under-funded. "What National is experiencing as a headache is the result of failed policies and ignored voices for their entire administration", said Education Action Group (EAG) spokesperson Katie Grace.
"It's a simple and clear statement," said Mark Baxter, Campaigns Coordinator. "An imposed unfair loan scheme, a life time of debt and unreasonable fees are unacceptable!"
The protests that have ocurred in Otago this year have also shown great support. "The protests show that students can't be ignored any longer. Either fund tertiary education, or prepare for opposition!" said Katie Grace, EAG spokesperson.
Otago's most recent protest shut down a council meeting to protest increasing fees.
"Statistics show that underfunding and fees are problems," said Katie Grace, EAG spokesperson, "Otherwise, why do decile 1-3 schools in Auckland have fewer students entering university?"
The government will face problems with its knowledge economy as statistics show a serious "brain-drain".
"I have no interest in living my life in debt which I can't possibly repay. I don't see why anyone else would either. The number of jobs and the potential for research areboth greater overseas. Why would we stay when all we have to look forward to is punishment for studying?" asked Mark Baxter, Campaigns Coordinator.
The Education Action Group welcomes moves by Labour, Alliance and the Greens towards a barrier free education, and recommends that ACT and National follow suit in order to maintain a strong economy and put an end to the brain drain.
Contacts:
Mark Baxter OUSA Campaigns Co-ordinator (03) 4795332
Katie Grace Education Action Group Spokesperson (03) 4778138

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