It beggars belief that Steven Joyce will use a downturn in student numbers to reinvest in tertiary institutions when he has acted like one man razor gang against the sector, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The Tertiary Education Minister today claimed he would reinvest some of the $120 million fall in Government funding that universities and other tertiary institutions face because of a forecast loss of 10,000 students over the next three years.
“This is hard to swallow from a Government that tightened student loan eligibility, cut student allowances and increased fees. Especially when Steven Joyce stripped $20 million of funding from the sector in last year’s Budget.
“It is unsurprising and typically slippery of the Minister that he won’t guarantee the amount the Government will reinvestment.
“The Minister and National may be content to cement in a low-skill, low wage economy.
“But Labour is more ambitious for New Zealanders than that. We want every Kiwi to have the chance to get ahead and prosper.
“That’s why our Working Futures plan will give all New Zealanders who haven’t undertaken tertiary study three years’ free post school education through their lives.
“Labour knows education is a source of wealth. Our plan will restore student numbers, help lift families out of poverty, create opportunities for our children and provide the skilled workforce our businesses need.” Chris Hipkins says.