Minor parties provide positive tertiary policy choices

Press Release – NZUSA

Student leaders are pleased that the tertiary policies of several smaller political parties offer attractive and positive solutions for the real issues affecting students and the tertiary sector.Minor parties provide positive tertiary policy choices

Student leaders are pleased that the tertiary policies of several smaller political parties offer attractive and positive solutions for the real issues affecting students and the tertiary sector.

“We welcome a clear recognition from several parties that a fully-funded, high quality education system is the best investment a country can make in its own future, and that education is an investment not just a cost to government,” says NZUSA Co-President David Do.

“The policies of the Green, Mana, and New Zealand First parties address much of what the tertiary sector and students need for a high quality system. Students and voters who are concerned about the quality of their education, how much support they get during study, how much debt they graduate with, and the economy they will enter, will have several positive policy choices when choosing how to exercise their vote,” says Do.

“We strongly support proposed actions to address the drivers of student debt such as by seeking to lower and abolish fees over time. The Greens, Mana, and New Zealand First parties are also committed to ensuring all students get basic income support through an allowance for all students at the level of unemployment benefit, a long overdue policy that would see and end to students being the only part of society expected to borrow to live,” says NZUSA Co-President Max Hardy.

“New Zealand First’s debt write-off scheme for graduates who work in New Zealand complements similar policies from the Greens and Mana. Restoring cuts to the Training Incentive Allowance will help address access to tertiary education for sole parents, and commitments to increase funding to tertiary institutions by at least the rate of inflation will help start addressing the long-term underinvestment the sector has endured,” says Hardy.

“The Greens and Mana parties joined the Maori and Labour parties in strongly opposing ACT and National’s attack on students’ voices through ending universal membership of students’ associations. They would repeal ACT’s destructive legislation and instead replace it with an enduring system which allows students to easily opt-out and to collectively choose what membership model (universal or voluntary) they want on their campus,” says Do.

“We welcome strong positive tertiary education policies from the Greens, Mana, and New Zealand First parties. We hope they recognise the importance of education to their potential voters and that education is high on their priority list if they are in a position to influence or form the next government,“ concludes Do.

NZUSA is the national representative body for tertiary students and has been advocating on student issues since 1929.

ENDS

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