Press Release – NZUSA
Students will be better informed about the choices they will make in the upcoming General Election, thanks to a new guide produced by their national students’ associations. Student voters to be better informed for the election
Students will be better informed about the choices they will make in the upcoming General Election, thanks to a new guide produced by their national students’ associations.
One month out from the election, the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations has released the ‘Students’ Guide to Voting 2011’ online and in hard copy.
The guide surveyed the political parties in Parliament about their key policies in the areas of student income support, student debt, funding, fees, access, quality, and student voice. The guide outlines the issue at hand, NZUSA’s position, and the party’s policies.
“Often people want to vote but find it confusing to figure out where the parties stand on particular issues. We have produced this guide to help inform those choices and foster awareness about tertiary education policy and the issues facing the tertiary sector today that affect both our education and our future,” says NZUSA Co-President David Do.
“Tertiary students are an important part of society and it’s important they exercise their vote and have their voice heard. In 2011, NZUSA is campaigning to Demand a Better Future, raising the issues that are important to students. Which political parties will commit to properly invest in education, tackle student debt, ensure access for all, and value students’ voices?,” asks Do.
The guide shows there are clear choices for students based on tertiary policy. For example:
* On ensuring basic income support for students, some parties support returning to universal access to student allowances, while others fall short in this area
* Almost all parties currently in Parliament support continuing no interest on student loans
* There is a clear divide on the role of students’ associations – between parties that support ACT’s legislation to end universal membership and parties that support it and enduring strong independent representation for students.
The guide is available online at http://www.demandabetterfuture.org.nz and in hard copy from local students’ associations, who will also be distributing the guides to students and the public over the next few weeks. NZUSA has also been working with the Tertiary Education Union on a joint enrolment drive to reach students, and this will continue to the election.
Note: The guide is also attached to this email.
Video from NZUSA’s Students Vote 2011 summit is also now online at
This features MPs from National, Labour, Greens, and ACT outlining their party’s policies and answering questions from students.
NZUSA is the national representative body for tertiary students and has been advocating on student issues since 1929.