Zero-fees policy ‘helps more people'

Published: Tue 14 Oct 2008 04:41 PM
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Zero-fees policy ‘helps more people, improves education quality’
UnitedFuture’s ‘zero-fees’ policy is a fairer, more effective solution to the student debt problem than Labour's universal student allowance as it also addresses the quality of education, according to leader Peter Dunne who spoke to students at Auckland University today.
“International university rankings released today show that our top universities are slipping down the list. They need a funding commitment from Government to reverse this trend ,” says Mr Dunne.
“Australia has 6 universities ranked in the top 50 in the world. We don’t have any. We have only one in the top 100 and two others in the top 200 – we can and need to do better,” says Mr Dunne.
“UnitedFuture would abolish all tertiary education fees, as well as commit to properly funding our institutions themselves. This will increase access to education and deal with student debt, as well as improving the value of New Zealand degrees.
“A limitation with universal student allowances is that they only help full-time students, part-time students are no better off, while allowances also do nothing to address the quality of education.”
Mr Dunne points out that in the long term, tuition fees are increasing at a rate faster than the cost of living.
“The funding is already there for zero-fees tuition – the cost falls within that for Labour’s Universal Allowance pledge, but it benefits more people and achieves better education,” he said.

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