INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bradford indicates even higher fees

Published: Tue 9 Nov 1999 09:34 AM
Tertiary Education Minister Max Bradford has made clear that fees will skyrocket even further if National gets back into government, Labour associate education spokesperson (tertiary) Steve Maharey said today.
Steve Maharey said Mr Bradford had revealed the true intent of National Party Policy in an election bulletin prepared for university staff.
"National supports the Universal Tertiary Tuition Allowance (UTTA) as flexible and student- driven and will not set a floor on the average level of tuition subsidies. PTEs will be funded at the same level of as public institutions, providing the quality of courses is rigorously checked." AUS Bulletin #43
"His admission that National will not set a floor on the average level of tuition subsidies is further indication that National simply does not care about the cost of tertiary education on the young people of New Zealand.
"What Mr Bradford is saying is that National will take no responsibility for the level of fees at tertiary institutions throughout the country. Already its claim that it 72.4% of the cost of a course is widely disputed with most in the sector believing that the reality is much worse.
"But what is of more concern to New Zealand families with aspirations of a tertiary education for their children is that National will not even commit to keeping up that level of subsidy. It is also alarming to see that the Government funding model will ensure that private training institutions compete directly with state institutions.
"It is a cop out and it means the costs will almost certainly rise unless there is a change in government. Already we are getting indications on what that means with proposed fee rises at the country's universities of up to 15%.
"Labour believes that tertiary education is an essential element of establishing the knowledge society that New Zealand needs.
"We are committed to working closely with tertiary education institutions so that when there is extra money for tertiary courses, that the benefits are passed on to students.
"Coupled with our commitment to no interest on student loans for full-time and other low income students while they are still studying, it is a positive start to our aim of lowering the cost of tertiary education to students and their families," Steve Maharey said.

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